8 – 26 August 2017
Written by Andrew Maddock
Directed by Niall Phillips
Olympilads follows damaged siblings as they navigate their brother’s destructive obsession with beating Usain Bolt in the Olympics.
Touched with humour and tragedy, Darren’s delusions bring their shattered family to breaking-point.
Creatively staged, and sensitively portrayed, Olympilads is easily one of the best pub shows I’ve seen this year.
It’s a strong, and memorable piece of new writing, led by a strong, memorable cast.
Michelle Barwood as Abigail grounds the show; she holds the family and play together. Her desperation to snap her brothers out of their delusions, and put Simon (Rhys Yates) on his own path, provide the drive throughout the piece. Meanwhile, Yates gives a soft-hearted, and sensitive performance as the overwhelmed peacemaker, trying to be a big man, and fill a father’s big shoes, despite every challenge his siblings throw at him.
Nebiu Samuel is convincing as the tortured and obsessive Darren, blind to the pain it causes his older siblings. His lines run as fast as his feat, as he demands, sprints, and thrashes his way through the play.
All in all, a great night. A little like watching a London version of the Australian mini-series Barracuda (2016). And I’d recommend that to anyone.