Theatre review: Top Story at the Old Vic Tunnels
17:41 22 January 2013
A giant meteor the size of LA is heading for ‘ironically’ LA and the world is going to end in less than a week.
This is the premise for writer Sebastian Michael’s enjoyable but at times flawed play Top Story, showing at the Old Vic Tunnels by Waterloo Station.
The black comedy centres on two young men, Gus and Talwyn, who are holed up in a London flat as they wait for the doomed day to arrive.
Despite their fate, the pair appear relatively relaxed and spend most of the play drinking ale and musing over their unexpected situation.
The actors, Lewis Goody and Ed Pinker, do a good job of conveying youthful naivety and a bit of bromance love, but are hampered a bit by a script that isn’t always as sharp as it could be.
Their banter is interspersed with TV news broadcasts from presenter Chrissie Craven, ‘the sexiest woman on earth’. Unflappable Chrissie interviews a range of studio guests and correspondents who all have one thing in common – a desire to spend their last moments with her.
The broadcasts are probably the funniest and most successful parts of the production, with particularly great performances from Josephine Crane (Chrissie) and Richard Matthews, who plays a variety of correspondents and guests.
What didn’t work so well were the conversations between two angels, Alphon and Raoul. Going from the light hearted banter of Gus and Talwyn to their philosophical discourse about life and the universe broke up the flow of the play and felt somewhat heavy for what is otherwise a fairly light-hearted affair.
Overall Top Story was well acted and fun but – much like the meteor - didn’t quite make the expected impact.
It runs until February 2.