Casual Tuesday evening, I figure to go and see a one man theater piece written and directed by Mark O’Rowe and performed by Tom Vaughan-Lawlor. No expectations really. Despite this being far from the first showcasing of the play and being mid-week, there is still plenty of people in auditorium (which is always a good sign if you are not exactly sure what are you about to see). Crowd seems relaxed, chatting away. Lights dimmed. Tom marches to the center of the stage. His voice is strong and confident. His energy grasps your attention straight away and 100%. There are no other thoughts in your head except ones Tom let’s you experience. He is painting a very clear picture, very emotional one too.
Two stories, two people, same neighborhood, different perspectives on the same situation. Howie tells the story, Rookie continues. You get to meet other characters on a way, they all have their own stories, their own lives, their own problems to deal with. Tom takes you on to the urban journey which makes you wanna laugh and cry and leaves you deeply moved in the end of it, making you believe in all the good we have left in our society, making you believe that everyone has a spark of good in them, even if it might not be shining too bright for you to see it straight away.
Absolutely fantastic performance, no surprise Tom received a standing ovation (without a doubt just like every night he gets on stage). I have never really seen one man theater before and I have always been a bit skeptical about it – I guess I couldn’t believe that it really would have been possible to get my attention and keep it all the way through (I am a very fussy audience member at times). Well, Tom did it easily. Everything is present there in terms of successful performance – a bit humor to keep tension level down before they peak again, drama, action, tragedy, colorful characters and a very talented actor to tell the story which I suppose is still relevant in addition to Tom making it feel very real.
You can book your tickets here, before the show is gone off the Project Arts Center’s stage: Howie The Rookie