Tuesday 17 October 2017

Graeme Of Thrones @ Charing Cross Theatre

Graeme Of Thrones @ Charing Cross Theatre

You know when people spoil plot points of massive TV shows on social media and ruin it for fans yet to watch? Yeah, don't do that.

Inexcusably, Graeme Of Thrones does just that. I mean, I think it does. I'm yet to see season 7 of Game of Thrones, but even if the spoilers offered in this theatre production are just jokes, they're not funny.

You could argue that it's all part of this disastrous show - a play-within-a-play that sees three actors putting on their own low budget homage to George RR Martin's great work to an audience of potential investors (us). Except, in The Play That Goes Wrong fashion, the play goes wrong. Horribly.

Of course, it's all a very low budget spoof with bawdy, immature, grotesque humour. Yet the play-within-a-play structure is no excuse for bad comedy.

Graeme Of Thrones simply isn't that funny, beyond the odd chuckle. John-Luke Roberts leads the cast as Graeme, a geeky fanboy turned theatre writer and director who becomes quite the control freak as he produces his own show. He's joined by Ross Spaine as his gormless mate and Nicola Lamont as the feisty, sexual love interest who spouts pretentious theatrical nonsense. So far so trite.

It's Lamont who takes over the production, acting out scenes in eccentric fashion. She covers herself in ham in an interpretive dance about a wild boar. As a naked Melisandre in a body suit she gives birth to a demon in a gimp mask. She conducts a battle with an unwitting audience member, using burgers and ketchup as eyes. And she performs an expressive piece about Sansa's first period, shooting red confetti from a cannon placed between her legs - presumably a nod to the series' infamous red wedding.

And that's about the level of humour of this production that saw multiple audience members leave. There's nothing clever here, no smart twist on the source material beyond pure irreverence and "how far can we push the audience". And through addressing the show's frequent use of nudity, the male characters here are unwilling to act out a gay scene which is more than a little homophobic.

Be like Cersei with a goblet of wine placed firmly in your hand and pretend you're at the Edinburgh Fringe - you'll probably be laughing along heartily enough, even if just at the sheer absurdity of it all. But in the words of Tyrion Lannister: "It's not easy being drunk all the time. Everyone would do it if it were easy".


Watch: Graeme Of Thrones runs at the Charing Cross Theatre until November 11th.

Graeme Of Thrones @ Charing Cross Theatre