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Review: Being An Ultimate Warrior at South Shields Customs House

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A Fabulous Tale Of Survival

Being An Ultimate Warrior
South Shields Customs House
Thursday 13th October 2016

Karl is a big fan of wrestling. In Being An Ultimate Warrior he sits in his big gaming chair from which he tells his story. In a captivating tale, delivered in an engrossing style reminiscent of grown-up Jackanory.

South Shields’ Wayne Miller is a great storyteller as he reveals Karl’s ordeals and interests. The audience were hanging on his every word, every emotion as he described how bullying as a child had been relentless. Name calling and acts of physical brutality were common place as the bullies abused Karl.  It was though a joint interest in wrestling on tv and drama that he sought a way out. We hear of tales of watching the likes of Big Daddy as a child and of the modern leaders in the ring. Wayne demonstrates some of the wrestling moves, from the funny and over the top entrances through to the big flops that make a loud bang as he lands on the stage.

Karl describes his relationships: both with girlfriends and his parents. This is coupled with his love of wrestling through various links. A brief appearance by Amie Jeffels brings about a surprising but life affirming conclusion to the tale.

I am no wrestling fan but I still enjoyed the narrative. In looking at relationships, and the difficulties of childhood, the story is one which is easy to relate to.

One of the reasons why this production works so well is that there is a real personal feeling within the delivery. The story is believable and heart warming. It is emotional but not over the top. It is a great piece of new writing, by Wayne Miller, and the Customs House should be praised for encouraging new writing in our region. The plan is to tour the show in 2017 and it will be well worth seeking out. Wayne is the ultimate warrior – well done!

This review was written by Stephen Oliver the North East Theatre Guide – follow Stephen at @panic_c_button


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