Ed Reardon: A Writer's Burden

Pleasance Courtyard

Theatre Reviewed by Thom Dibdin

Amid the crowding mass of autobiographical solo shows, Ed Reardon's stands out. Here at his desk, replicated on stage complete with its battered old typewriter and piles of his published books, he can fulminate at those renowned pet hates of his – the grocer's apostrophe and the 12-year-olds who run television.

It also stands out, of course, as being a complete fiction, created by Andrew Nickolds and Christopher Douglas - who plays Reardon as a disgruntled Bill Oddie in loud shirt, long shorts, sandals and white socks.

The joy is that it is all so believable, at least at the outset. Even the name sounds as if he should be someone you know. The early exploratory forays into prejudice are suitably benevolent, and the appearance of Josh Darcy and Nicola Sandeson as Reardon's Theatre in a Basket helpers has the air of a slightly misconceived publicity tour.

Director Adrian Lloyd-James soon starts cranking up the outrageousness, however. Even then, Reardon’s stories of being expelled from school, meeting Martin Amis and, at the pinnacle of his writing career, penning the Ladybird Book of Shoes, all have a suitable ring of truth about them.

Any longer and this would drag, but in Reardon, Christopher Douglas has a beautifully sustained creation.

Published online
Review by
Thom Dibdin
Produced by
Angela Browne Ltd
Christopher Douglas, Andrew Nickolds
Adrian Lloyd-James
Angela Browne Ltd
Running time
1 hour
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