The stage lights illuminate to a simplistic bohemian style set, hanging plants from the ceiling, Persian rugs on the floor, a vodka bottle hidden to the hosts left. The Right Here, Right Now Show dazzles out in swirly writing from a backdrop of a brick wall imitation. Beautiful live jazz music sets the scene for the show to begin filming their most hotly anticipated episode to date.
The Right Here Right Now Show is a well devised performance piece from the LUU Open Theatre society written by Denys Woolley. It aims to explore the ugly truths behind egos and the feuds of showbiz, and stars a number of flamboyant characters; the dazzling host Peter Tellio played by Joe Fenna in silver sequins, comedian Ian Benderson, a Hugh Grant-esque character, played by James Adcock-Kersting, the glamorous soap star turned political activist Eva Van De Berg played by Phoebe Curtis and the final, more sinister of the guests, owner of radio show ‘Real Fake News’, Simon Straud, played by Kieran Bose Rosling.
The first half of the show remained static with characters sat engaging in usual generic chat show conversation and B list celebrities, with Peter Tellio desperately attempting to engage the live audience in the show, begging them to talk more. The crumbling deterioration of Peter’s career frames the narrative emphasised with references from Simon and Ian on how much better it used to be. The mocking of generic interplay of mainstream media with the ongoing forcing of sexual dynamic between Eva and Ian who kept mispronouncing her name was an ongoing joke. The light misogyny in Eva’s over-sexualised stage presence – unsurprisingly thanks to her male co-stars – rings true with female representation in media. We empathise with Peter until in the climax of the second half where Simon’s orchestrated mischief reveals the terrible truths behind Peter’s fun loving, exuberant nature. The performance becomes erratic and dynamic in movement, highly driven as more twists and secrets are unravelled. I feel the whole performance could have been further tightened dramatically if it were a ‘live’ show, but nevertheless it still had the audience engaged with the action. Whilst it was overall an enjoyable show, I was desperate to hear more of the jazz in the interludes which could have even saved Peter his show!
Image Courtesy of Lili Fletcher