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The joy of storytelling is alive and well with Team Viking

Entertainment / Sun 17th Sep 2017 at 08:36pm

Harlow Playhouse
Team Viking

JAMES Rowland is a personable performer. Part James Corden, part Boris Johnson and part Phillip Seymour-Hoffman he inhabits both the story he tells and the stage he fills for what is a fascinating and absorbing hour.

After a close friend he grew up with is diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer, Rowland decides to fulfil his last wish: to give him a proper Viking funeral, complete with flames and boats – the works (they were fans of the Kirk Douglas film, The Vikings).

This is as much physical theatre as a monologue as James “plays” many characters as he takes us on this journey.

It is a terribly sad story (which you have the comfort of deciding whether it is true or not) but there is a passion in James’ performance that draws you in. This reviewer was drawn in as he played the part of his friend on the hospital bed.

But there is a poignant joy in James’s world and his world view. He celebrates a simplicity that you worry is disappearing in these uncertain days.

James is a clever wordsmith and performer and you hope to hear more from him. There is a niche here much in the manner of story-tellers like Garrison Keillor.

This is part of the Pay What You Can series at the Harlow Playhouse. It is a wonderful scheme which we highly recommend.

Team Viking

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