SET in a pub (where else?), this gregarious tribute to Oliver Reed’s life is everything a biopic should be – a highly entertaining representation of the facts, enhanced by distorting the lens on its subject’s more colourful periods.
Rob Crouch not only resembles, sounds, scares and excites as Oliver Reed. He’s so convincing you feel like sharing a whisky with him afterwards in a bid to get even closer to the man who treated the pub as his theatre.
Based on Reed’s autobiography, one of the play’s highlights is a scene that, in lesser hands, could slow up the show.
In it, audience members are enticed to play Johnny Carson and Shelley Winters during one of Reed’s infamous TV interviews.
Sit in the first couple of rows and you might even get a drink handed to you. But that shouldn’t be an enticement to pay tribute to one of cinema’s most rock-and-roll characters.
“Awe and respect are two different things,” Reed once said.
At this pub, you’ll find both.
Until August 27