The vintagely matured ‘young ones’ bring their new play, Vulcan 7, to Cambridge
This comedic piece, written by and starring former Young Ones actors Adrian Edmondson and Nigel Planer – and directed by Steven Marmion, artistic director of Soho Theatre – is on at the Cambridge Arts Theatre until Saturday.
In the story, actors Gary and Hugh were students at RADA together. Now in their sixties, they meet in an Icelandic wasteland on the set of a fantasy movie. Hugh has had a slow-moving career but has landed the role of Vulcan’s butler – a small but regular role – and he’s making his seventh film for the franchise.
Gary is a one-time Hollywood A-lister who has fallen on hard times and is playing a guest monster with four hours in make-up and one word in the script. The play sees them ‘rekindle’ their relationship amidst a succession of calamitous events.
Although the first night of this production at the Arts Theatre was not played to a capacity audience, it didn’t detract from the atmosphere, with everyone enjoying a good evening.
The young ‘Leela’ (Lois Chimimba) takes on her role to keep the peace between the two former drama students – played by Adrian Edmondson and Nigel Planer – with total ease. Although overacting a little at times, she kept up with the pace of the scenes and didn’t falter in her dialogue.
The two ‘old friends’ were faultless keeping the banter going throughout the performance and genuinely appeared to be having a good time. Gary (Adrian Edmondson) succumbed to too much wine during the play, however a great shame the props department used a red wine bottle, but he was drinking white wine by the colour of the liquid poured from it!
The stage production worked well with amazing hydraulics used in the scenery and the sound used for outdoor purposes was realistic and well-timed.
I would say that the play was not quite as amusing as The Young Ones or Bottom (Edmondson’s 90s sitcom in which he starred with the late Rik Mayall), but some parts were laugh-out-loud funny.
All in all, a good night’s entertainment with two experienced actors working together once again together with ease.
Vulcan 7 runs until Saturday, October 6 at 7.45pm, with 2.30pm matinee performances on Thursday and Saturday.
Tickets: £25-£45 (all ticket prices include a £3 per-ticket booking fee)