“It all begins with a skinny latte…” William is a twenty-something Londoner, with a Morrissey-style quiff, immature, self-obsessed, with a gothic sense of humour and attracted to vamp ice queens. He drifts from coffee shops, to bars to end up lolling at the sofa of his gay best friend Rick, sharing with him all the insignificant, really, dramas of his life, whilst listening to Smiths LPs. When he meets Salomé, they have an unsuccessful first date in a cemetery and then, they discover they are both Smiths fans. With loyalties torn between his girlfriend and his best friend, William becomes more than half a person through loss.
William narrates his coming-of-age story in an all-black set with just a table and a chair. He is energetic, expressive, witty and funny, and dresses his melancholic coming-of-age story with all the appropriate Smiths songs.Thus, ‘Cemetery Gates’, ‘Bigmouth Strikes Again’, ‘There is a Light that Never Goes Out’ and ‘This Charming Man’ are just several of many peppered throughout the show.
Even though the story line is hardly original and some of the scenes seem to exist solely so that a classic Smiths song could be sang, the play is funny and witty, with strong dramatic moments. Joe Presley is far from a singer, but one could argue that signing slightly off key was more in accordance with the role, than it would have been having a more phonetically gifted performer. Unfortunately, his performance lacks the confidence and lustre that would bring out the spark of the text and do it justice.
Smiths’ fans will most definitely love it and the rest will have spent an enjoyable hour watching a quite decent fringe performance.