Wet Weather Cover
King's Head Theatre January-February 2010; Arts Theatre April-June
Oliver Cotton is an actor who has worked extensively in film, so when he writes a play about actors killing time on location, it has an unimpeachable air of authenticity as well as the irresistible appeal of a peep behind the curtain.
Wet Weather Cover isn't Hamlet, but it is a lot of fun.
Cotton imagines two actors, an American and a Brit, stuck in a caravan in Spain, waiting for the rain to stop so they can shoot their scene in an epic about Cortez and the Incas.
They grumble, and gossip, and one-up each other quoting Shakespeare and Marlowe, and debate the differences between British and American acting, and grumble, and work on their scene, and drink, and grumble some more.
Much of it is very witty, as when the method-actor American turns out to know more Shakespeare than the Brit, and some is thought-provoking, as when the Englishman analyses the pecking order of American and European actors in multinational films like this one.
We get a strong sense of their ambivalence about working on a film they each consider rubbish but that will enhance the American's career and provide the Englishman with a bit of needed income. And we see that, in spite of their cynicism, they actually do try to do good work in their little bit of the film.
And that's about it. We get no great drama here, and few major revelations. There are some good jokes, some believable insights into the life of the working actor and, all in all, a pleasant ninety minutes.
Kate Fahy directs with unobtrusive smoothness, and there are attractive and convincing performances by Michael Brandon as the American and Steve Furst as the Englishman, with nice comic support from Pepe Balderrama as a harried gofer.
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Review of Wet Weather Cover - King's Head Theatre 2010