OBSESSION

Young is such a compelling voyeur. He has an unnatural way with small, lethal details that tell entire stories. This is a beautifully choreographed piece of precision acting that dances on the razor’s edge between loathing and love. Highly unsettling, perhaps because it is so bleakly funny and true. The Times

A broader view of Young’s vivid imagination and his unique way with words. Speech is a slippery, evocative and three-dimensional thing, rife with knock-on alliteration and spot-on comic juxtaposition. Evening Standard

Lurid emotional intimacy combines with strong dramatic conceit. Young’s language is alternatively sensual and surgical. Obsession ruthlessly exploits the relationship between actor and audience, a fine blend of art and matter. Rob Young’s Obsession is a stand out in this celebration of a lonely art form. Time Out (Critics Choice)

 

SUICIDE AND MANIPULATION

It’s difficult to fault this play’s slick, stylish progress. It’s just difficult to keep up with it. The real question here is whether the power of love extends beyond the grave. That one leaves the theatre pondering this is a credit not only to Young’s talent in portraying the inconsequential and the serious simultaneously but to the ability of the excellent cast. The design too is superb but what impresses most in this consummately professional show is Young’s deft, funny and deep command of the contemporary idiom” Evening Standard

 

SURFING

Touchingly sad, the characters grow on you, almost imperceptibly, drawing you into their destitute, moving lives. The Guardian

Young evokes a strangely affecting world, part fantasy, part cry from the heart brought into sharp focus by Lisa Goldman’s delicate production which leaves just the right amount to the imagination. Essential viewing. Time Out (Critics’ Choice)

As sensitive and uplifting a story as can be imagined… played beautifully. Carries the audience with it every step of the way. The List

Young’s sensitive handling and McPhee’s beguiling performance imbue a funny, sexy story with a real sense of wonder and romance. Evening Standard

A tender paean to the power of the imagination, sweetly performed. The Herald

Confident, vivacious and endearing The Scotsman

 

TANGO ‘TIL YOU’RE SORE

A deep, dark wacky-tacky drama about warty sexual jealously bouncing off every mirrored wall in Ricky Volvo’s cheap-chick Spanish Bar. An intelligent and thought provoking piece. Time Out.

A gripping, excellently performed and precisely directed production. A fine piece of theatre. City Limits

A steamy, torrid study in jealousy as man manipulates identical twins, one his wife, for material gain, is matched by an eroticism expressed most blatantly through dance. This play will take you from ‘nun-blushing innocence’ to ‘tongues that writhe like Houdini’… passion that could melt the chocolate off your Jaffa cake. Girl About Town

 

THE OLD MAN AND THE SEA

Beautifully performed, a highly intelligent, intuitive and thought provoking drama. A resounding success for all involved. allthefestivals.com

The most wonderful visual piece of theatre to hit this year’s fringe… A powerful show that will not only pull at your heartstrings, but will leave you wanting more. FringeReview

*’With a cast of just three, the intensity conjured up is incredible. It is a testament to the acting skill of Bill Hutchens who plays Santiago that, as he battles the sharks that encircle his imaginary vessel, you are rather tempted to lift your feet and gaze down onto the floor just to make sure that none are swimming near you. Indieoma.com

Bill Hutchens delivers a transfixing, magnificently bearded, physical performance as the Old Man, stoically rowing his complaining body across the bay. It’s magnetic viewing, lent depth by Vernon Nxumalo’s wistful narration and characterization of birds, boys and the spirit of a fish. Time Out

‘Emily Bevan is seductive, cruel and funny as The Sea (everything Elizabeth Hurley should have been but wasn’t in the ill-fated 2000 remake of Bedazzled) taunting, blackmailing and, gleefully, defeating The Old Man. Ms Bevan’s performance allows us to understand why The Old Man had to return for one last battle and why we would do it too. Rewards the intellectual investment with a stimulating version of an intellectual classic.
BroadwayWorld.com

A real gem. The Argus Newspaper

 

EX

“Rob Young’s Ex had me onside from the start. This enjoyably salty, profanity-laden tale of two ex lovers examining their past lays its cards on the table early: after all, when a production starts with a song called ‘Oh Fuck’, you know you’re not watching We Will Rock You. You can see this show going down well with the Him & Her crowd. There’s certainly a lot to applaud in this approach: the juxtaposition of down to earth humour and music works well, and many of the songs are genuinely funny, feeling integral to the story rather than a tacked on gimmick. Some of the laughs may be cheap, but they are plentiful and the first half particularly, when Jack and Ruby look back over their relationship, feels naturalistic and convincing. Alex Marker’s bright, brash set is a perect compliment to the action and the performances are a delight. Ex is fresh, filthy, funny and engaging” Exuent.

“Last year the Soho theatre made opera approachable with the Olivier Award-winning La Bohème. Possibly without even trying, they have managed to do the same with musicals with the premiere of Rob Young’s romantic comedy Ex. The often hilarious, sometimes rude, songs are accompanied by a solo pianist who also provides comical dramatic sound effects and mobile ringtones. Under Tricia Thorn’s direction, the production never attempts to pretend it is anything more than a performance, the characters even acknowledging each other’s tendency to break out into song and dance at any given moment. It is essentially harmless fun. Just like watching your favourite romantic comedy guilty pleasure, it is best enjoyed with a large glass of wine and an even larger pinch of salt” Official London Theatre

“At London’s Soho Theatre in Dean Street, there is a treat for Musical Theatre lovers. A new piece, Ex, deals with a four-way relationship. It is very funny with a particularly clever central performance by Gerard Carey – who had just a week to learn the role – as the man who won’t give up, despite his former girlfriend’s decision to go to America with her new, more reliable, love. Well worth seeing” Musical Stages

“It’s good to see a subsidized theatre supporting that rare thing, the new British musical. Ex takes the route of recent Fringe successes and strips everything back to basics, employing just one onstage piano to accompany the four actors. Rob Young’s script has its sassy moments and Lorraine’s score its catchy tunes. Tricia Thorn’s production boasts a cherishable tap routine and the quartet makes a lovely noise as a four” Evening Standard

“Ex is a lot like the Soho Theatre – kitsch, bold and in-your-face. The action was physical and farcical, the dialogue pacy and gag-filled, and the songs provided a delightful sense of the surreal, which the actors played up to effectively. It’s lack of deep complexity was exactly what I liked about it. I suppose I have no problem with fluff – as long as it’s as charming and well-executed as this. Rob Young has written largely for film and TV, and EX feels more like a sitcom with songs. But the characters were fully-formed, the situation suitably funny and the fusty press night audience (plus Craig Revel-Horwood) snorted and guffawed throughout. It has a sort of Avenue Q charm about it – though less original – with the added bonus of its Britishness. Gerard Carey carries the action, his infectious energy and enthusiasm making him loveable – his voice is also a delight to listen to. Carey and Booth-Steel have brilliant chemistry and their ‘ex-banter’ ricochets back and forth impressively – in fact, both pairs (Thomas and Dillon have a superb tap number applauding their own perfection) are perfectly matched in this production – kudos to casting director Jane Deitch. The music is provided, neatly, by onstage pianist Chris Whitehead, who adds little stings and underscoring as well as the narrative songs. This show’s strength is its wit, the script and lyrics are genuinely funny, and the pace of the acting very slick. Dillon in particular has a voice you want to hear more of. Ex is cheeky, British and above all, silly – but the kind of silly that will lift your spirits after a grey London week”
The Public Reviews

“I went to see Ex, at the Soho Theatre, last week and I had a really enjoyable time. The show was really entertaining and was really hilarious, so hilarious that my friend, who I took with me, literally nearly choked through laughing so much” DressCircle.co.uk

 

THE MAN WITH…

‘Size really does matter in Rob Young’s monologue about a man from south London who is suffering from Proteus syndrome. John Dixon is ordinary in every way – in his desires, his needs, his everyday concerns. But his penis is 102cm long, contains almost three litres of blood and comprises 50% of his body weight. The stirring of an erection starves his brain of oxygen, causing near-fatal blackouts. For John the orgasm is not a little death but the big one. In the circumstances, John is not a man to rub up the wrong way. He censors every aspect of his life to avoid erotic stimulation but cannot censor his need for love. Reading the small ads in Loot is a wild thrill for John. Then he meets Ruth, a tart with a heart from Stockwell, who takes one look at what’s in John’s shopping trolley and whisks him off to Hastings, where John gets that floating feeling that means it must be love.Simon Vincenzi’s clever production, with its fleet of glowing red Zeppelin-style organs hanging from the ceiling, its aching lighting and strange, unsettling soundtrack, gives the evening an extra dimension. There is a marvellous performance too from Laurence Harvey, who stands immobile like a beached whale for the whole performance and whose understated, deadpan delivery conveys all the bemused pain of a very ordinary man in an extraordinary situation. The Guardian.