Tag Archives: Nick Curnow


10 Jan

Wittenberg has all the ingredients for a good night out –  allusions to Elizabethan and Jacobean theatre, a scholarly awareness of the German Sturm und Drang movement, all topped off with in depth references to sixteenth century theological debate!

No, seriously, it’s all very accessible. And, yes, it’s terrific fun.

Hamlet is at uni, and his two tutors, John Faustus and Martin Luther, battle for his soul. The mixing of characters derived from both fiction and fact is a sure signal that we’re in for some wackiness.

It’s a game of intellectual tennis with some top class verbal athletes shooting sharp, hilarious volleys back and forth across the net. (Admittedly, it’s a rather loose net. The play is built on what I feel is a false, or at least exaggerated, dichotomy; that between faith and reason. In this way, it’s very much an American play, part of that nation’s culture wars between the Right and the Left. But I’m far from suggesting it’s parochial. Much of the discourse about spiritual experience in the West has long been skewed towards epistemology – by the extraordinary success of the Scientific Revolution.)

David Woodland; photo by Katy Green Loughrey

David Woodland; photo by Katy Green Loughrey

It’s a very watchable game, even if one player is given a tennis racquet and the other only a ping pong bat. The play clearly favours Faustus. He’s presented as the voice of reason and skepticism. David Woodland does a wonderful job of bringing this likable and passionate rogue alive. And Nick Curnow does well to make Luther a marvelously enjoyable prig.

Director Richard Hilliar has elicited fine performances from the whole cast, and writer David Davalos’ brilliant language is a joy to hear.

Articulate, erudite, and a damn good night!

(Though you don’t, in the foyer, want to meet a bore like me,                               who’ll bang on about the privileging of epistemology!)

Veronica Kaye

Wittenberg by David Davalos

at The Old Fitzroy til 25 Jan



Fully Committed

27 Sep

The customer is always right.

Are there five words that better encapsulate our absurdly mercantile and materialistic society?

Sam, played by Nick Curnow, is the one of the team who takes the reservations for a super trendy Upper Eastside restaurant. It’s the sort of place that’s booked out months in advance, or ‘fully committed’, as the celebrity chef insists. Sam struggles to deal with the demands of both employers and customers.


Fully Committed is a one man show designed to show off an actor’s virtuosity. And it does. Nick Curnow is superb, creating thirty eight characters in fifty minutes.

Sam is Curnow’s primary character, but he launches into the others with breathtaking energy. Curnow’s ability to delineate such an enormous cast of characters is awe inspiring. The laughs come thick and fast. His vocal work is nothing short of extraordinary.

The script, by American Becky Mode, is witty and wonderfully structured. Director Alexander Butt has facilitated a lively night of fun, and thought.

The customer is always right. The slogan is well known because employers ask their employees to abide by it simply because it encourages return business. But customers parrot it, as though it was a moral truth. ‘I am paying, so I must be right.’ But aren’t both parties entering into the transaction in good faith? You give me this, I’ll give you that. Why should one party be privileged?

There are few more injurious attitudes to a democratic society than this false sense of entitlement.

And one of the funniest and sharpest moments is when Sam’s agent (he is, of course, a struggling actor) tells him how he could do better at castings. He must develop an aura of self-entitlement. This is silver service satire.

Veronica Kaye


Fully Committed

New Theatre

Two shows remaining Fri 27 Sept and Sat 28th Sept