ED2013 4/5 Reviews ED2013 Theatre Reviews

The Oldest Man In Catford (Quidem Productions)

By | Published on Tuesday 6 August 2013

From the first scene of this show, we’re aware something’s up – the extremely elderly gent of the title reveals himself to be only pretending to be infirm. This comedy’s more than half monologue, with Reg (Stewart Howson) talking to his dead wife and friend; recalling the War and resisting the patronising overtures of social services. The central relationship with his kind, bolshy great-granddaughter Julie (Alice Bernard) is convincing, and their banter is fun. The gentle, contented sadness is shattered in the last third: gripping and socially aware, it drops the cake jokes and intergenerational grumbling. I can’t give anything anyway, but the transition is natural, and the rest of the show follows smoothly from its sudden extreme tensions. Surprising.

New Town Theatre, until 25 Aug, 2.30pm.
tw rating 4/5│[Gavin Leech]