I hate having to review a show like the Untitled Sam Mullins Project because it, as the title suggests, is unfinished. It’s unfinished because Sam, like the rest of us are unfinished. Yet it is the kind of serious effort a theatre artist goes through to create something not only meaningful for the themselves, but meaningful for the audience. This is a very important impulse and one which the theatre in London could use more of.
The Untitled Sam Mullins project is framed around some ideas Sam is asked to write, that describe what he knows to be true, for a stand up comedy class that he is using to overcome his panic attacks. Only Sam is told he’d done it wrong and this launches us into what are a series of themed monologues all based on the wrong things he wrote down in his class – things that are deeply personal to Sam .
There are moments that are truly lovely and rich and important in this show. There are moments of awkwardness and confusion and really smart laughs in this show. There is a lot in this show that is worthy of our attention but it needs some more work and that work can only continue if you go see the show. I know, I know. Your thinking to yourselves “ well shouldn’t he do this in rehearsal?” . That is sometimes right but not always. Sometimes a show needs find itself in front of an audience and this show will do that if you go see it. So as Sam does his part and writes and play’s with heart and honesty to build on the truth of his show so you must you do your part and see it..
Couple of things that absolutely must be fixed though. Transitions, the great black hole of every new theatre work, have to be fixed. Also the creator needs to take the time to play moments out on the stage and not just wander. I’m confident that this will happen as Sam is serious, in his wonderfully awkward way, about his craft.
This is a show worth seeing for a number of reasons. Some really smart writing, some really funny moments, some very powerful moments , but most of all because we get to see a first crack at a new work that has some real potential and a possible great future,
Reviewing for Theatre in London