Theatre Review: Wet Weather Cover @ the Arts Theatre

By Zoe Craig Last edited 100 months ago
Theatre Review: Wet Weather Cover @ the Arts Theatre

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Brad and Stuart are filming on location in Spain. Trouble is, the constant rain is preventing them doing any of the outside scenes required for the film. Instead, they're stuck in a damp, leaky trailer, with nothing but their antagonistic egos for company.

What develops between the arrogant Hollywood star, Brad (Michael Brandon, a long way from the National's Jerry Springer, his last onstage role) and the British thesp, Stuart (Steve Furst from the Orange cinema ads) is the kind of tense situation where one word, like "Fine", said in a certain way, can drive you mad.

Veteran actor Oliver Cotton has certainly taken "write what you know" to heart for this, his debut writing gig. The pair bicker over Christopher Marlowe, the Blitz, trailers on movie sets, what billing they'll get on the film, and fairly classic American / British stereotypes. The heritage and status of the two countries comes up time and again, with paper-thin national identity arguments twisted around by both characters. Stuart's typical Brit humour is paired with effeminacy, the classics and those plucky little British films that go on to win Oscars. Brad appears in similar broad brushstrokes: bellicose, status-obsessed, and liable to shout things like: "Shakespeare's just about the only thing your country's got left."

There are funny moments, and flashes of good writing, but when Cotton's script descends into the two men trading insults like "You're so fucking English." "And you're so fucking American!" this short (80-minute) insight into the lives of bored actors on location made us rather wish we were elsewhere too.

As the camp Spanish dresser, Pepe Balderrama, provides wonderful light relief, tellingly scripted entirely in Spanish.

Tanya McCallin's fantastically realistic trailer set, complete with dripping roof, provides a nice distraction, but we couldn't help being reminded of another show with a trailer in it, going on just down the road, and yet light years away from the quality of this one.

We're sure the thesps in the audience (hello, David Suchet) thought this insight into their world was an absolute hoot, but for anyone looking for a more inventive evening's entertainment, there are many far better productions currently available in London.

Wet Weather Cover plays at the Arts Theatre until 5 June. Tickets from £13.50-£27.50. Call 0845 017 5584 or visit www.wetweathercover.co.uk for more information.

Last Updated 08 April 2010