This week in Theater
Reviewed by Rose Desena
If I was to use one word to describe Neverwhere, it would be simple: WOW. I hope you can forgive me for this; I was not familiar with the Scared Fools Theater Company or their capabilities before I saw this play. However, if this is an example of what they do, all I can say again is WOW.
I sat wide-eyed, glued to my seat letting this wonderful mythical story embrace me. I have not read the book and to be honest I am not a fan of the Sci-Fi/fantasy genre, but I might have changed my tune. I now have the book at my bedside, and yes, I am reading it. Neverwhere was born in London and was originally written for the BBC as a miniseries.
A henpecked Richard Mayhew (Bryan Bellomo) sits frustrated at his desk as he ponders the primary existential question: Is this all there is? On his way home that night an old women on the Tube gives him a little warning in a feeble voice “beware of doors”.
Later that night, on a date with his nagging fiancé (Cassandra Vincent), he stumbles upon a beautiful but bleeding damsel in distress, Door (Paula Rhodes). Yes, I agree Door is an odd name, but you will find out why that is her name when you see the show.
Richard’s girlfriend is none too happy as he whisks this pretty woman off to his apartment. Of course, his girlfriend is unsuccessful with her protests or we wouldn’t have a story. Besides who needs a girlfriend when you have magic in the air?
After a few hours at his apartment, two dodgy looking men Mr. Croup (Ezra Buzzington) and Mr. Vandemar (Bryan Krasner) come by looking for the mysterious Door. Little does Richard know they are assassins, but he is smart enough to tell them she is not there. Door is in trouble, and it’s not safe for her to be on the streets so in desperation she is forced to ask her new friend, a mere mortal, for his help.
Door has one simple request: Richard is to seek out the only person who can help her. Reluctantly he agrees. Viola this wonderful tale begins. Now we head deep into the dark side: the dark underside to be exact. Our protagonist Richard is in for a wild ride of experience’s in a place he does not understand and never knew existed.
He finds himself lost in the depths of subterranean London surrounded by people who have slipped through the cracks and are left to survive in a world all to itself, a lawless society with inhabitants from different time periods who all seem to co-exist.
This fantasy city below the London tub stations is full of strange and scary characters like, evil angels, great beasts, rats that communicate, birds that carry messages, spear carrying hunters and body guards who must fight to the death to prove themselves. The only safe haven is the secret moving market where money means nothing but a debt means everything. Mysteries unfold as our heroine Ms. Door searches for the reason her father was killed. Door and Richard put together a team of whimsical characters to help them with their extremely dangerous voyage. Richard not only needs to survive this treacherous journey, but he wants to get back home to what’s familiar safe and mundane.
Of course there is a moral here: beware what you ask for because you just might get it.
Marvelous staging and exceptional directing and outstanding acting are what make this production a dream to experience. I love British storytelling and Neverwhere lives up to the standard. I can’t praise it enough to do it justice so all I can say is just go see it, as a matter of fact bring your friends and family because it is acceptable for all ages.
Directed by Scott Legget
Cast: Ezra Buzzington, Devereau Chumrau, Donelle Fuller, Julia
Griswold, Michael Holmes, Bryan Krasner, Carlos Larkin, Jonathan Kells
Phillips, Paula Rhodes, Marz Richards, Cassandra Vincent, Bryan Bellomo
(The night I was there Bryan Bellomo subbed for Michael Holmes, he was excellent)
Friday and Saturday at 8 and Sunday at 7pm until March 15th
Sacred Fools Theater, 660 N. Heliotrope, Hollywood, CA 9000
310 281 8337