Inside the eye of your mind
London – Etcetera Theatre – 5 – 11 August 2010 – 21.00 (1:10)
This is a one-man play or show (depending on your point of view), written and performed by Gerry Howell.
Frederick Goodge is the character that Gerry Howell inhabits rather than performs, an ordinary man, although one with extraordinary dreams, and an extraordinary perspective on ‘reality’, whatever that might be.
Into his character’s ‘reality’, a lot of other people thrust themselves, sometimes as references, sometimes appearing on the stage to be ‘played’ in turn by Frederick Goodge in a mad imitation of drama.
It is in Orpington swimming baths that Frederick Goodge fleetingly gets to meet the girl of his dreams, but the course of true love does not run smoothly for him, as he becomes caught up in a fiction of his own making, as well as Croydon, home of Peter Sarstedt, whom he is determined to visit.
Let’s be fair. Frederick Goodge’s singing voice may not be up to much, but his search for the writer of sixties hit “Where do you go to, my lovely?” does lead him to trumpeter Penelope (whose name means ‘weaving’ or something) and to a jazz festival in Juan les Pins (which – eerily? – was mentioned in the Sarstedt song).
The twists and turns of this extraordinary story are too convoluted to describe here, even if I could remember precisely how Frederick becomes an employment agent or why he feels he has to break in to a very tall building (reminiscent of a vegetable) to rescue the lover of his fictional heroine from suicide.
It is, quite simply, that kind of show, performed with relish by Gerry Howell, whose inspiration comes miscellaneously from Albert Camus, TS Eliot and other literary greats. This show apparently, began as a novel. Now, it is a very entertaining hour of performance comedy.
Performer: Gerry Howell
Reviewed 10 August 2010
(c) Michael Spring