BOTTOM – Willy Hudson (Now You Know Production’s Scratch Card 2) ★★★★★

Willy Hudson writes, directs and stars in Bottom, a perfect example of the one man show. It’s funny, observant, and is an ideal vehicle for its instantly lovable star.

Hudson bowls the space to a (rather fantastic) remix of Beyoncé’s hit, ‘Love on Top’. He enters naked, covered only the towel he asks an audience member to hold up for him as he gets dressed on stage. All of these things don’t really add to the narrative of the story, and in another actor’s hands could have been gimmicky. But in Bottom, this involves the audience from the very beginning and demonstrates that Hudson is an actor who is confident in his material.

We meet Willy on a third date which has gone horribly wrong, due to a sexual mis-match with his unseen partner. This triggers a monologue detailing the struggles of manoeuvring the complicated politics of online dating in 2017. The Willy we see is fully formed before us, and we feel that we truly get to know him during the brief running time. His quirky obsession with Queen Bey is not only hilarious, but serves as an excellent vehicle for continuing the narrative of the piece.

The play never indulges in archetypes, or utilises overly camp humour to garner cheao laughs from the audience. These characters, both Willy and his unseen dating partner are real people with real feelings and motivations.

So far, this is nothing that hasn’t been seen before. However, in Hudson’s hands, Bottom adds another level of truth and poignancy to these often-explored themes. A show which at first glance seems to be all about sex isn’t really about sex at all. It’s a multi-layered portrayal of a young man seeking a real connection.



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