Steven Pacey and Rik Mayall
by Louise Badsey
I was particularly looking forward to this because not only was Mr Pacey
one of the lead characters, but so was Rik Mayall who Ive always
wanted to see live after enjoying most of his TV shows.
Rik Mayall played the owner of a pub and my first thoughts
when he came on stage were gosh hes looking a bit podgy now
- although I guess he probably was the same size when I last saw him in
an episode of Bottom - its difficult to tell if youre fat
or thin when you are wearing underpants ten times your size and they are
full of custard!
(Thats Rik Mayall for you!)
Anyway, it was great to see him playing the brother of Stevens character
- giving him a nice big hug early on in the play - wow! Well, Stevens
character, I have to say, was very Tarrant-like! He thought a lot of himself,
was highly skilled in his field and was arrogant! Also he liked pushing
people around, although this time, instead of Vila, it was his wife!
I think this was quite an easy role for Steven - he just had
to do his Tarrant type stance at the front of the stage, flash his cheesy
grin and declare how amazing he was! His mother in the play had obviously
spoiled him rotten (as her favourite son) and his sister and brother Rik
were nothing compared to him. He seemed to enjoy this immensely
and boasted about it whenever he could, without a thought for his sister
Riks character and his sister were obviously quite close and were
both having relationship problems. Riks wife had decided to leave
him as he was wasnt treating her properly, being angry all the time.
She told him shed left him over the phone on the night that they
were both meant to go for a meal with the family - to celebrate his brother
(Stevens) success - being interviewed on TV and also it was the
birthday of his brothers wife that night. He was very upset and
stressed and couldnt bring himself to tell anyone about it.
In fact he did often try to tell his family how he felt, but they just
didnt listen - he had to shout very loudly just to get their attention,
thus, the reason for his constant anger no doubt!
The play was basically a comedy about a family with all sorts of different
problems and how they dealt with them. The characters were:
Mother, Eldest Son - Rik, Younger Son - Steven, Daughter
Wife of Stevens character, Young Barman
Riks Dog (a disabled dog that sat in its basket and never moved)
The stage was set in Riks bar. The family were to meet in the bar
before going out to a restaurant later that evening. There were various
scenes of bickering by the daughter, boasting by Steven, his mother making
out Steven to be the best person ever (well, isnt he??!!) and jealousy
and embarrassment. All typical family scenes I guess! It was all achieved
in an amusing way though. The one scene was strange... the family all
sat in an embarrassed silence. Then a fly entered.... buzzed about a bit
and then got zapped by the fly catcher bulb.... in this scene... all the
characters heads moved in unison watching the flys movements and
then being zapped! (cue brief chuckle from the audience!)
Anyway, Steven seem to be very relaxed and confident throughout the play.
As I mentioned above, it all seemed very easy for Steven... not a very
challenging role. I guess not much acting was really needed - he just
played a Tarrant as that was all the role required!
Compared to his other plays Ive seen, this one was more enjoyable
than The Birthday Party which was a bit dark and weird, but
it was not as good as Things We Do For Love which was just
AMAZING! He did have to work quite hard in both The Birthday Party
and Things We Do For Love though so I guess this last one
was just a quick and easy role to play.
Think he performs much better the more challenging the role is - so lets
hope he goes for some more in depth roles - particularly where hes
the main lead character and in a love sort of situation!!
(As much as I love the Arrogant Tarrant, I do like to see Steven in a
Nice Guy type role, like in Things)!
The one complaint I have is the awful jacket Steven was wearing! It made
his arms look so long and spindley.... he just looked sooo tall and thin!
Would have been better without the plain jacket... maybe with his sleeves
rolled up or something... would have been much more appropriate.
The end of the play summed up lots of moral issues/relationship problems.
Rik began to realise he needed to change his ways, and control his anger
to get his wife back... which she seemed willing to do and Steven realised
that he ought to stop treating his wife like a doormat and let her become
an individual - and to stop being so selfish and to think of others before
himself occasionally. The daughter got together with the barman, the mother
didnt change much, but went back to being oblivious to any problems
her other children were having... and they all lived happily ever after!
(aka Mistress Tufty!)