Review: Vulcan 7 has Adrian Edmondson and Nigel Planer giving explosive performances at Cambridge Arts Theatre
PUBLISHED: 00:05 02 October 2018 | UPDATED: 00:14 02 October 2018
Written by and starring Adrian Edmondson and Nigel Planer, Vulcan 7 is a vingette of two actors who have loathed each other since RADA. Their jealously knows no bounds.
Towards the end of their failing careers (having each once touched a kind of celebrity - or notoriety) they find themselves stuck in the same trailer on the set of the same film - the seventh in the fanstasy series Vulcan. They are trapped there because the movie is being filmed in Iceland (the country not the shop) and a volcano underneath them is errupting.
Filming has stopped, the director is missing and the food truck is on the other side of a ravine.
Hugh Delavois (Planer) has been a regular in the film franchise playing a butler. Gary Savage (Edmundson) once an A list film star, has been brought in to play a monster, with just one line.
The play is a caricature of actors’ personalities, their vanities, the vulnerabilities and an aghast look at the ridiculous way they are obliged to earn a living.
There are a lot of laughs here and the audience cheered heartily at the end but I felt it was more sad than funny. Perhaps the characters created are too human. I felt sorry for them. Edmondson’s man has a life in a bottle - though I did think he got drunk rather quickly on rather little for someone we are told drinks in order to breathe. Planer’s haughty Hugh is deluded and unloved.
Plaudits must go to Simon Higlett’s ingenious set. The play opens with an immaculate trailer with inspired detail and as the volcano gets angrier, it tips, furniture slides and by the end, it is almost at 45 degrees as the actors are clinging on to their careers and their dignity.
There is strong support from Lois Chimimba who plays Leela the runner, who is at last winched up off the mountain by a helicopter - and you believe that is actually happening.
This is an enjoyable play, it trots along at a good old pace. It’s fun but it’s not a must-see.
Vulcan 7 is at Cambridge Arts Theatre until Saturday, October 6.