Laughing Matter at the King’s Head Theatre is a play that at its heart challenges what is and what isn’t, and within this, what really matters.
End of Moving Walkway’s latest production is an interesting piece of theatre to talk about and break down because it transformed itself as it went on.
Based on a prologue, enveloping you into theatre maker James’ story, you’re able to build up ideas about the world as he explores just how tiny and almost meaningless all the decisions that we make are (because free will doesn’t really exist) in the grand scheme of the world.
‘When you died everything was thrown into sharp focus, because it doesn’t matter. It really doesn’t matter that you died. But it’s still so sh*t.’
Though scripted, there was such a natural, conversational way to James’ delivery – he was just there talking to friends and this was something that developed as the play went on, both within the play and the breakouts. The performance felt like a series of conversations and that method of delivery made everything more raw and more real for the audience.
In a really interesting section of repetition, the play challenged what the audience believed had just happened. Like a broken record going on in a loop, it echoed the story James had told, making you more invested in the story.
Both James and Keith felt natural and fluid in their characters and worked so well together, enabling the audience to be with them in all these little moments. Then there was Paul Lichtenstern’s direction, which gave the piece pace and punch.
This is the first original piece by End of Moving Walkway and if this is the quality of what they’re producing, I’m excited to see what’s next for them.
Laughing Matter is on at the King’s Head Theatre until July 16th.