The 2 Sides Of Eddie Ramone


By Chris Sullivan

 jMp Company

 Directed by Chris Sullivan

 Jermyn Street Theatre

 16b Jermyn Street, Piccadilly Circus, Lon SW1Y 6ST

 Call + 44 20 (0) 7287 2875 Tickets £18 – £15

 Monday 25th – Saturday 30th July 7.30pm; Saturday 3.30pm

 Running time 75minutes with no intermission                               

You’re Cruisin’, Eddie, Aren’t You?

There’s a strange frankness about Chris Sullivan’s alter ego, as he takes his place at the mike to deliver his cruise comedian’s shtick. I say strange because it soon becomes apparent that what, to his audience, is an accomplished and entertaining stand-up performance, has become to him, a hateful nightly purgatory.

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In this day and age, out-of-body experiences have become a staple of psychiatrists, and are not always the weird and slightly frightening conditions so popular with horror film makers. What is different here, is that this is what Eddie finds himself experiencing, without, perhaps, realising that it is what saves him. It is his defence mechanism, enabling him to endlessly keep on churning out the same tired old gags, without blowing his brains out.

This is the second incarnation of The 2 Sides Of Eddie Ramone that I have seen. Previously, at its Edinburgh festival outing, it was Eddie on his own with his demons, and I was moved to write: ‘With flashes of brilliance, mixing comedy and pathos, and with his original and bitingly powerful writing, the redoubtable Chris Sullivan’s performance is his most memorable to date’. He has lost none of this winning emotional cocktail. This version of the play now features Shian Denovan, who plays his daughter, in a beautifully delivered and felt performance.

Whether this two-hander development is the last version of this piece, remains to be seen. What is clear, though, is that the story deserves to go on.

I look forward to the next time, Chris and Eddie!

Saul Reichlin

www.chicagocritic.com