Review: Martin Murphy's New Play 'Worlds'

Written by: Victoria Highfield

“Is this the end my beautiful friend?”

When I heard I had tickets to a show in super trendy underground arts spaces The Vaults, I was intrigued.  I’d heard a lot about it from friends and the odd Instagram post: I couldn’t wait to see if it lived up to expectations.  When I rocked up on a Thursday evening I wasn’t disappointed. Located off the famous Leake ‘graffiti’ street, The Vaults lives in the underground world of Waterloo station. The graffiti itself is all consuming from head to toe and the range of crude slogans and massive murals intricately painted swallow you whole.

North Four, North London magazine, worlds, vault festival, waterloo, kings head theatre, islington, martin murphy, theatre, review

It was safe to say as far as looks goes it made quite an impression. This was a venue that looked like it belonged off Shoreditch High street with a queue of eager hipsters following in toe.  Dressed in his city-boy overcoat my better half looked a tad out of place but once inside we realised it wasn’t one of those pretentious east London venues where you need to work in media paired with green hair and a cool charity shop get up to fit in. There was a real mix of clientele – the young and hip, those on date night, older intellectuals – you name it they were all there. We made our way to one of the venue’s many bars. They are split into sections, each with a different theme however all daring and unusual and willing to explore the unknown. We meandered through the underground maze and grabbed ourselves a set of delicious cocktails en route (I’d recommend the Hemmingway mojito for all the feels) and headed down a long corridor – all through the watchful eyes and grinning smile of the Cheshire cat painted on the walls – to the studio where we took our seats.

North Four, North London magazine, worlds, vault festival, waterloo, kings head theatre, islington, martin murphy, theatre, review

Worlds, written and directed by Martin Murphy (writer of 2016’s Edinburgh Fringe success Villian) is about nine people from all walks of life who find themselves, on a dark and stormy night, at the end of the world – or rather, Worlds, a small hotel run by an eccentric  Irish landlady Briony. This extremely funny play looks at why people choose to leave or remain in relationships, friendships and locations. Its series of short stories all interlink if only through the fact that each character is staying in the same remote guesthouse.

The small dark set is framed only by a rail full of clothes and the odd alcoholic beverage which the actors helps themselves too throughout. In the background we can hear the overground trains rattle and shake the scene which sees the fluorescent lighting ficker – it couldn’t have been a more apt for an apocalyptic-esque setting.

North Four, North London magazine, worlds, vault festival, waterloo, kings head theatre, islington, martin murphy, theatre, review

We’re introduced to Bas the pop star who’s laying low and hoping to run into a woman from his past; a couple who are married but not to each other; Charlie and his grandmother who want to escape to warm climates; and the mysterious Benny and Haxie who are hiding from…something.

Nine very different (although not quite as equally interesting) characters are played by just two fantastic actors. Naomi Shaldeon and Andrew Macklin battle endless costume changes, multiple accents and opposing personalities to the best of their ability and deliver funny and touching performances of each snapshot of the characters lives.

We’re fully in awe of the performances however left wondering why each story never quite amounts to anything. We are left with no answers; in fact there is no real build up within any of the character’s stories.

 Why are they cheating on their partners? What are they running away from? Initially I was left slightly unfulfilled however upon reflection knew this was the exact point of Murphy’s script; to leave us wondering and to create our own ending for the characters – we were given snippets of their lives and left desperately wanting more.

Worlds was a more than pleasant way to spend an evening and the hour long performance flew by in a breeze. This is a gentle dark comedy that allows for thought-provoking and arresting performances that will stay with you long after the performers take their final bow.  The Doors sang ‘This is the end, beautiful friend. This is the end, my only friend, the end’. For our leading characters we can only wonder whether this is really the case.

Worlds ended on the 29th January at Vaults Festival. But you can catch Martin Murphy’s 2016’s Edinburgh Fringe success Villain at the Kings Head Theatre from 9th February – 4th March 2016 on Upper Street, Islington.

North Four, North London magazine, green rooms hotel, arts, culture, review, interiors, design, photography, wood green
Eat & Drink Lifestyle

My First Night at Green Rooms Hotel

Staying in a hotel one mile from where you actually live feels strange enough, but doing it on your own is even stranger. These photos are a visual record of me wandering the lonely corridors of a new boutique hotel between the hours of 10-12pm. I would describe the decor as handmade but not cheap, minimal but not clinical. It has the feeling that money has been spent on the things that matter.

Read More...
North Four, North London magazine, cheese, fromage, cheese festival, n1, islington, market, festival, food, gouda, edam, brie, camembert, wheel of cheese
Eat & Drink

You Feta Brie-lieve it: Cheese Festival Comes to North London

The rumours are true: a cheese festival exists and it’s coming to North London. This Sunday. Be there or be … cheese-less I suppose. But you’ve gouda get there early:  If you’re as keen as brie and one of the first fifty fromage fondlers to show, you’re in the running for a free bottle of Black Cow’s pure milk vodka. Traders will be setting up stalls along Islington’s Chapel Market: from the Raclette Brothers and Mac to the Future to La Fromagerie and The Cheese Truck.

Read More...
North Four, North London magazine, dream phone, dream talk, sound art, collaboration, musician, artist, london, phone boxes
Culture Lifestyle

Dream Talk: Sound Art for Your Commute

Dream Talk. It’s like Dream Phone, but not at all. Artist Emma Alonze and musician Andy Becker have joined forces to collaborate on a (possibly prophetic) new sound art project. Londoners are invited to take a moment out of their daily commute, routine or journey and immerse themselves in a narrated collection of dreams. Taking three years worth of forty winks, Alonze has gathered and narrated a chosen few to be set to an ambient soundtrack by Becker.

Read More...
Events

Between the Sheets at the Underbelly Festival

Holy smoke, her nipples are on fire! Somebody pass the woman an extinguisher. Wait, why is she climbing into that giant margarita glass - does she not know it's highly flammable? She's going to need to be doused with a sizable portion of aloe vera gel at this rate, the poor lamb. 

Read More...
North Four, North London magazine, events, to do, 100, keeping it 100, hackney arts
Culture Events List

Top Four "Keeping it 💯" Workshops

If there's anything the new moon today has told us, it's that it's time to be our true selves. That's what my horoscope told me today anyway. But what does that mean exactly? It means that if you want to eat honey loops for lunch, you 100% can. It means if you feel like learning how to make a bouquet instead of working on your tax forms, you 100% can. It also means if you want to learn how the deep throat (singing technique) you don't have to explain yourself. You're keeping it .

Read More...
North Four, North London magazine, eroc, skateboarding, skater dog, french bulldog, frenchie, skateboard, halfpipe, interview, internet sensation, instagram star, tony hawk, fanbase
Lifestyle

Who is Behind Eroc the Skateboarding Dog?

Our exclusive meeting with Eroc: the Beyonce of the skateboarding dog world. Eroc the french bulldog is making waves. With fans like Tony Hawk, BBC Radio and over 30k followers on Instagram (and counting), Eroc has also become something of an online sensation. His viral status comes and goes, randomly popping up on online social media channels every now and again to generate hundreds of thousands of views and clicks via the likes of Buzzfeed, Time Out and rogue iPhone filmers.

Read More...
North Four, North London magazine, protest, opinion piece, lifestyle, trump, women's march, brexit, riots, uprising, human rights, march, rally
Lifestyle

Protest is Dead! Long Live Protest!

We all have our own ways of dealing with life when things get shitty. Having a big cry and getting it all out can be incredibly therapeutic, and even more so when we find ourselves repeating the same line over and over through the tears. “He’s a dick!” or “I’m not a bad person!” These little lines of reinforcement help us push through the crappy feeling. Sometimes we might even revert to a hearty little stamp on the floor / kick of some unsuspecting object. It feels surprisingly satisfying when the rage sets in and we feel helpless.

Read More...
North Four, North London magazine, trio da kali, musicians, live music, gig, stoke newington, the old church, tickets, events
Culture

Contemporary Malian Sounds in Stokey

This Friday sees the release of Malian master musicians, Trio Da Kali’s new album Ladilikan. Fusing rich, expressive vocals with traditional instruments like the balafon and bass ngoni, this is a beautiful mix of ancient Mande culture and contemporary Malian sounds. Luckily for us North Londoners, we have the opportunity to see the trio play live in the rather fitting ethereal surrounds of Stoke Newington Church next month. 

Read More...
North Four, North London magazine, sylvanian familes, store, monsell road, finsbury park, toys, toyshop, collectibles, rare, dolls
Lifestyle

On your Doorstep: Inside Sylvanian World

Walking along Monsell Road in Finsbury Park, we spy the charming exterior of a shop looking like something out of a children’s book circa 1932. Beneath a green and white striped awning, a whimsical new world of mini animals awaits. Once inside we stumble about the store in hushed awe, reaching over a book of minuscule carpet samples/ family of miniature otters to tap a tiny bell.

Read More...
North Four, north London magazine, outdoor cinema, pizza, sodo pizzeria, snug, events, refreshments, foodie, picnic
Events

Kids and Big Kids: Pizza, Curry and Open Air Cinema

Whether you’re looking for something to entertain your kids, your friends’ kids or that particularly large man child in your life, you might just have lucked out. Snug are hosting an open air screening of The Incredibles next Saturday evening. There will be tasty sourdough pizzas from Sodo Pizza (Upper Clapton) and ultimate authentic curries from Rice n Spice, Northwold Road.

Read More...
North Four, North London magazine, vegetarian restaurant, ceremony, veggie, cuisine, risotto, dish
Eat & Drink

Ceremony: A New Take On Veggie Cuisine

Coming soon to a Tufnell Park near you is a whole new vegetable patch of delights / wheat field to run vicariously through. It’s time to get excited for Ceremony: a brand new bar/restaurant serving modern British veggie cuisine. Although the website remains tantalisingly mysterious, you can glean more info from their well stocked insta.

Read More...
Spring Kind, Pit Party, North Four Magazine, Music, North London, London
Culture Eat & Drink Events List

Top 4 Weird Things to do This September

Sound baths, pit parties, fake cheese and nipples, these are a few of our favourite things, said no one ever. Bored of drinking down the pub every evening? Unlikely, but bare with me. Sometimes you just want to let down your hair, shake it off and do something down right odd of an evening... followed by a pint at the pub.

Read More...
North Four, North London magazine, texlationship, online dating, illustration, iphones, texting, tinder, julia potocnik
Lifestyle

Dating North London: IRL vs Textlationship

It’s been a few months since the last instalment of Online vs Offline. I deleted Bumble, Happn and Tinder, flirted with the idea of match.com, went to a friend’s wedding, heard the vicar call my name instead of the Bride’s and reflected briefly on the crushing inevitability of my own spinsterhood before realising everyone was laughing in the pews and I should probably join them.

Read More...
north four magazine, north london, stroud green, cheese
Eat & Drink Events

Stroud Green Market Opens This Sunday!

Gluten-free cake consumers, vegan cheese enthusiasts, craft beer connoisseurs, lovers of pies and drinkers of tea; your time is now. Buy food of a quality & variety you can’t easily find in the shops, from organic meat to vegan cheese, fish caught that morning to pickles which have been fermenting for months, at Stroud Green market.

Read More...
North Four, North London magazine, the finsbury, finsbury park, n4, music venue, gigs, folk
Events

Free Cake and Gin Soaked Folk Pop

Who’s up for free entry, free cake and free folk (except for a jaunty little hat that is passed around for donations)? Get down to The Finsbury this Wednesday eve for a little mid week hootenanny and celebrate some of the best in new live music from the ‘acoustic, singer-songwriter & indie-folk scene’. Host with the most, Zoe Konez (“Ridiculously talented, Konez handles her guitar like she was born with it” - For Folk's Sake) will be deftly introducing each act from gin soaked folk popster herself, Penniless Cove to German indie band, Kalon.

Read More...
Lifestyle

Lamps, Records, Frenchies: The Big London Flea

What if you could mix the joys of your local Sunday car boot and all it’s dog perving potential with your favourite vintage clothes shops and high end antique markets? Within the sparkling depths of Dalson’s former ABC cinema, you’ll find The Big London Flea: London’s largest indoor vintage market.

Read More...