Catching Comets, a one man play in the intimate setting of Pleasance Courtyard Theatre was the perfect ambience for the protagonist, Ali Michael to bare all about falling in love, whilst also preventing a fatal comet from hitting the earth- which is not actually as far-fetched as it seems.
Switching between an alter-ego action hero with implied super powers and deadly weapons, confidence and brawn, the lead, Toby, is a normal guy but the narrative splits at opportune moments to expose his actual life versus his comic book hero character.
What unfolds is a roller coaster ride of emotions, with the focus on modern day relationships- written with pith and wit by Piers Black. As Toby, the man he is cute and awkward, romantic and bumbling as we relive the first time he meets his love. Playing the role as a narrator, we feel his klutziness as he claps eyes on his crush for the first time and we are taken on the journey which is heartwarming, funny, intimate and relevant.
However when the relationship starts to get prickly, Toby’s alter ego comes into play, and he transforms into fantasy “TobyMan” complete with strobe lights, mimed fight scenes and an upbeat soundtrack, and this version of Toby is not in touch with his emotions, is fearless and has no self-doubt. This invented persona shapes the atmosphere and leads the narrative back to what a hero would do. Alas Toby the man is not a hero, he is just a boy next door who is struggling with being in love and is an eye opener for any women watching, as we see male insecurities and vulnerability which is often overlooked, and it makes you question the lack of relevant role models for men.
The play switches between past and present to an alternate reality and the lights, soundtrack and voice overs blend this fast-paced action adventure experience into 70 enjoyable minutes- and I must give kudos to the one actor, who was charismatic and mesmerising.
If you want to see an exciting and emotional fantasy which is also refreshingly real, you should definitely catch Catching Comets. For more information see online.