Out There on Fried Meat Ridge Road

Theatre, Comedy
3 out of 5 stars
5 out of 5 stars
(4user reviews)
Out There on Fried Meat Ridge Road
© Gavin Watson

Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars

Enjoyable, undemanding American comedy

If you’re of the opinion that fringe theatre ought to be challenging, profound and stylish, do yourself a favour and stay away from this unapologetically entertaining comedy by Keith Stevenson. In it, five actors, who each play the same characters throughout, work through a simple, linear narrative, on a set that actually looks like what it’s supposed to look like. What do they think this is, the bloody West End? 

The action takes place entirely within a pokey motel room (imagine a Travelodge that’s got leprosy) in bumfuck West Virginia, where jittery, uptight factory worker Mitch (Robert Moloney) has responded to a roommate ad from friendly, bear-like bum JD (writer Stevenson). Just as the odd-couple bants are wearing thin, a trio of well-trodden stereotypes turn up: racist old codger Flip (Michael Wade), philandering Jersey boy Tommy (Dan Hildebrand) and Marlene (Melanie Gray), Tommy’s screeching, hysterical on-off girlfriend. 

As a semi-farcical hostage situation ensues, the show’s off-the-peg characters begin to build a subtle message about defying personal assumptions (JD turns out to have a knack for Latin, Tommy is of Latvian, rather than Italian heritage). LOLs are still very much the priority here – of which the sharply written script delivers plenty – but this dash of warmth goes a long way.

Okay, so the decision to make the play’s only female character its most one-dimensional is a touch troubling. Crucially, though, ‘OTOFMRR’ is the least intellectually considered thing I’ve seen in a room above a pub in ages, and that’s very much meant as a compliment. 

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Users say (4)

5 out of 5 stars

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