THE SPACES @ SURGEON’S HALL V53
AUGUST 5,8,10, 12,15,17,19
This is a stunning and bravura performance by a young and very promising actor. The character is Nick, who is seventeen and gay and goth. He loves dancing in his pants to the Sugarbabes and Steps. He is obsessed with a straight mate and spends some of his time as a care worker with a grumpy old man. Said grumpy old man will in time and unwittingly have lessons for Nick. Nick hates his family for refusing to reject him for his sexuality. He claims to be an only child, dismissing his somewhat helpful sister. Clearly, a youth of some contradictions.
The role is brilliantly and very imaginatively performed by Clement Charles, a student at Birmingham School of Acting. Nick is first seen slouched in a chair in many layers of goth attire, with cloak, hat, false hair and much make up. As his story is told, with the actor presenting us with a number of voices and characters we feel we come to know, especially the old guy, Clement Charles begins to lose some of his elaborate costume and some of his make up. We begin to wonder – just how far will he go?
This clearly represents his gradual distancing himself from his earlier identity, his divesting himself of goth-ness. There are some inspired touches, as when Nick is hidden behind his chair, and first one and then another bare foot appears, these nimbly representing first one parent, then the other. I’ve not seen that before.
Clement Charles keeps up the flow of dialogue, character and incident as he smoothly removes more and more goth apparel. This is a highly original performance by an actor fizzing with energy, skill and ability. This show was a delight from beginning to end, providing many laughs and displaying real originality.
I very much look forward to the further performance of Clement Charles, who surely has a very successful career ahead of him. This is an actor I could well take my hat off to!