Park Theatre
22nd Aug to 9th Sep 2023

“Do you believe in love at first sight?

Will didn’t. It was just something people said to sound romantic. He’s just a Northern guy who’s been single for far too long; still living at home, getting plastered every weekend, and stuck in his dead-end job.

That was until he saw the seductive singer, Candy… An epiphany. A revelation. The only problem is: she’s his best mate in drag.

As Will struggles to make sense of his newfound feelings, his life crumbles at the fringes. Should he seize life by his bollocks and tell Candy how he feels? Can he ever be with her? And what does loving her really mean?

Opening up conversations about crisis of identity and exploring sexuality in a world consumed by toxic masculinity, Tim Fraser‘s debut play swings between comedy and pathos in a solo show performed by Michael Waller as Will, who tussles with his new feelings and what they might mean. Candy makes its London premiere following a hit run at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2022.”

Review by Richard Lambert, 3 Stars

Michael Waller (“Will“) performs this one-man 70 minute monologue with gusto. He is enigmatic and well directed.

The venue has been transformed into a cabaret nightclub with cabaret tables for the audience surronding the performance area immersing some of the audience, while the rest of the audience are in thrust behind these tables. Although simple it feels plush and lavish which is a huge credit to the designer. The walls are draped with gold slash curtains which continue across the back of the stage creating a 360 deg surround of curtain slash. A single microphone on a stand symbolises where Candy performs, Will watches and comments from our perspective as we all become the audience for Candy who’s represented by a Silhouette shadow Gobo. I’m not sure the Shadow Gobo works – feeling more eerie/ghostly than genuine, but that’s just my personal opinion.

There are more lighting transitions than character blocking which was a little surprising. The colours on the Slash Curtain are vibrant and zing along with a fabulous large mirror ball that has it’s magical moments throughout. The lighting really helps with identifying the various locations for Will.

The Sound was subtle and added a lot of atmosphere in just the right places.

The play felt a little long with not a lot to say outside of the play’s marketting blurb. It also struggled to leave questions or conclusion so ended more like it had “run out of time” rather than inspiring further debate. CANDY is an entertaining play done really well!