Sunday, July 14

Sniff – Park Theatre

Pissing on stage has never been more popular. From Travis Alabanza’s Overflow to Sam Grabiner’s Boys on the Verge of Tears plays set in bathrooms proliferate. It seems all the best new writing owes its inspiration to some form of cubicle poetry. Poetry this play is. Lewd, brash, and at times nauseating poetry it may be but it is poetry and a very powerful sort at that.

With spectacular writing and performances by Gabriel Fogarty-Graveson & Felix Grainger under Ben Purkiss’s deft direction the chemistry between Liam (Fogarty-Graveson) and Alex (Grainger), two men who meet in a pub toilet, genuinely sizzles. Fogarty Graveson is especially undeniable as Liam, a character so intensely charming and menacing that he is somehow impossible not to root for even as he gets up to nothing but bad.

Grainger holds his own as Alex, a marketing executive who is very much out of depth in seemingly every aspect of his life. Their delicate ballet that swings from comradery to antagonism at dizzying speeds is impossible to look away from as it spirals further and further out. Bumping along with a distant soundtrack of bar beats and lit rather epileptically by an implied single bulb hovering above the toilets with the rest of the audience this play is sparsely but effectively presented.

Simple and relevant costumes and set dressing provide all the visual context needed to make this densely layered and rich narrative sing.

Hilarious, important, smart, and bold enough to send some audience members rushing to the actual toilets Sniff is worth the hit.

Reviewer: Kira Daniels

Reviewed: 16th May 2024

North West End UK Rating:

Rating: 5 out of 5.
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