REVIEW: The Albatross 3rd & Main, Park Theatre

What do you get if you put three men and a dead golden eagle together? 

charlie-allen-andrew-st-clair-james-hamish-clark-l-r-in-the-albatross-3rd-main-at-park-theatre-photo-by-sacha-queiroz-0088

(L-R) Charlie Allen, Andrew St Clair-James and Hamish Clark. Photo by Sacha Queiroz. 

Well in Simon David Eden’s comedy what you get is a great balance of drama, tension and comedy about what happens if the so-called American dream goes wrong.

Gene is having money problems, his friend Spider thinks he has the solution. Why don’t they sell the Golden Eagle that has just crashed into his windscreen to a nearby North American reservation and split the money? But as Lullaby points out – this is not as straight forward as it seems – it is a crime even to be in possession of the bird, so what do they do now?

Simon David Eden’s production of his own comedy takes a while to get going, perhaps over setting the scene slightly, with an exaggerated phone conversation that Gene is having that could have been cut slightly at the beginning. Yet once it does, it is a quirky and yet some how likeable production, that needs to draw out the comedy just a bit more particularly in the first act to give it more punch.

This is perhaps an odd thing to say considering the writer is also directing, but it is true. As we get to know these three very different characters, somehow some of the comedy feels a little bit flat or understated that it begins to feel more like a serious piece of work.

During the second act, things are livened up by Eden as the characters become increasingly paranoid and the situation intensifies as each of them question who is watching them from across the street and why they are potentially being watched. Being paranoid wouldn’t normally be funny, but in this circumstance as the reality of what Spider is trying to do sinks in it does.

The chemistry between the cast is excellent, with Hamish Clark as Gene being the solid and down to earth character, growing increasingly frustrated and tense with everything that is happening. His loyalty to Lullaby is also excellently played and surprisingly tender to watch. Andrew St Clair-James is a sweet and somewhat naive character, but also sensible and practical – which at times could get him in to trouble. He could have been used a lot more, but is a solid and reliable presence. But it is Charlie Allen as Spider who adds the menace and slightly threatening presence, delivering a performance that is surprisingly chilling.

Perhaps the play does need a bit more work to it in particular a bit more focus to it (too many of the conversations meander off for no particular reason), but the performances are solid and reliable to watch for this short but entertaining show.

The Albatross 3rd & Main continues to play at the Park Theatre until the 4th February. For more information and to book tickets visit: https://www.parktheatre.co.uk/whats-on/the-albatross-3rd-main

Rating: ❤❤❤