Sit-Down Comedy


The Door, Birmingham REP, Wednesday 14th January, 2015


A tall chair stands at the centre of a square. It is on this minimalistic set that solo performer Maddie Rice for the most part remains seated – but this is by no means a static performance.

It begins with a disastrous job interview. Rice interacts with a pre-recorded male voice – the timing is exquisite. Her story unfolds and a picture builds of a chaotic, comical existence: she’s between breakups with her boyfriend, except this time we get the feeling that he won’t be back; she is meanwhile trying to pick up men for sex – the sexual talk is very frank and very, very funny; we are introduced to a host of characters: her sister, her dad, regular café customer Joe… Rice brings the story and the stage to engaging and entertaining life. She is an 18-certificate Miranda, but funnier.

What emerges from among the hilarious anecdotes and interactions is a touching portrait of grief and guilt. Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s script crackles with comedy, character and brio. Directed by Vicky Jones, the energy of the piece draws us in and keeps us in and, thanks to a stellar performance from Maddie Rice, the chaotic narrator both makes us roar with laughter and touches our hearts. An entire audience gasps audibly to hear of the fate of a non-existent guinea pig – a testament to the power of the storytelling.

Well worth the effort of getting off your backside to go and see this actor sitting on hers.

Maddie Rice

Maddie Rice

About williamstafford

Novelist (Brough & Miller, sci fi, historical fantasy) Theatre critic and Actor - I can often be found walking the streets of Stratford upon Avon in the guise of the Bard! View all posts by williamstafford

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