A Hoipolloi & Royal Court co-production in association with Pleasance, PBJ Management and Theatre Royal Plymouth
2nd – 4th November 2017
Reviewed by Leslie Salome Soto Santillan
A show about Shôn Dale-Jones
If there is something really annoying about this one-man play is that it´s only about Shôn Dale-Jones. And that´s it.
If the purpose was to raise money for Street Child United, a charity that uses the power of sport to change the way the world negatively sees and treats street-connected children, it failed almost entirely.
In his attempt to play Robin Hood and pose the problems of the economic system and poverty in the world and to change the story of money and the growing gap between the rich and the poor, the actor is diluted in an act in which he simply tries to involve the audience into some sort of therapy session where he can magnify his ego.
Sadly there is no trace of a real commitment to make this story meaningful for its purpose.
The actor jumps from one personal and fictional tale about his childhood, marked by the presence of very strong political figures, to an episode of his life when he made a protest in front of a bank and got arrested for it to the classic fiction of Robin Hood from where he goes back and forward every five minutes.
Is he trying to confuse the audience? What is he trying to proof? Certainly nothing about the real issue he pretends to discuss. Where there should be depth and reflection there is only demagogy and catharsis.
Never the less he is really good manipulating the spectators’ emotions, or at least that’s what it seems. He managed to create empathy and to make the audience laugh for a moment, and at strategic times to take them to the verge of tears. Surplus anger, discomfort, frustration, commiseration and undercover self-adulation.
And, what about Robin Hood? Well I don´t think he showed up at any time.
This play pretended to be a personal imaginary narrative that simulates to be connected to a greater one. But finally, it is not. Shôn Dale-Jones prevails.