The moment the curtain went up for ‘Vulcan 7’, I was impressed. All of the on-stage action takes place inside the trailer of actor Hugh Delavois (Nigel Planer), which has the perfect amount of props in it to feel realistic without being overcrowded. The points in the show when the trailer moved looked fantastic as well.
When Delavois’ long-time rival in the acting industry, Gary Savage (Adrian Edmondson) burst out of the trailer’s bathroom in a ridiculously elaborate costume, a laugh went through the whole theatre. Edmondson’s performance is brilliant, and the way his character bounces off Planer’s is hilarious. The two actors delivered solid performances and their jokes repeatedly landed well. In particular, the argument in the first half that involved them throwing things and acting like children was very well done.
Despite the excellent performances by the actors and the stunning set, certain aspects of the script fell flat. While the funny moments are very well-executed, the more serious ones feel a little hollow, as if they are only there to lead into more jokes. That the dialogue was choppy at times, jumping from one topic to another without a sense of flow between them.
Revealing characters’ backstories through witty conversations was a clever move that came across well; however, it was a little disappointing that almost no elements of those backstories ever became relevant to the overall plot, save for the humorous debate about whether Delavois or Savage could be the father of Leela (Lois Chimimba). It would have been interesting to see some aspects of the characters’ past come into play more in the present. It must be said, however, that the stories about the actors’ romantic pasts were indeed very funny.
Tech-wise, I felt that some improvements could have been made. The theme music that played when the curtain went down at the end of the first act was very loud and jarring. It was a great idea to have a wind sound effect play whenever the door to the cold outdoors was opened, but replacing this sound with background music during specific conversations in the second act felt like it came out of nowhere. Also, the chatter that Leela hears through her earpiece is only sometimes projected to the audience, making it feel almost as though someone forgot to play the sound effect the other times.
On another note, the costumes could not have been better chosen. Savage’s over-the-top getup clashed brilliantly with Delavois’ butler-like outfit, both of which looked fittingly out of place next to Leela’s weather-appropriate clothing.
‘Vulcan 7’ is funny at the right moments, boasting some great one-liners and witty comments, as well as comedic situations. It benefits from excellent actors. However, the storyline was a bit lacking, the tech could have used improvements, and at times the script felt as though it was wandering aimlessly. It does have a lot of potential as a show however, and overall it was an enjoyable experience.
PHOTOS: Capital Theatres