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, hivemind, theatre collective, hen and chickens theatre bar, improv show
Culture

Theatre of Choice: Stick and Twisted by Hivemind

Hivemind are coming to the Hen and Chickens Theatre this Summer with a cracker of an innovative show. Three directors try to win over the audience with improvised stories acted out by the rest of the Hivemind cast on the spur of the moment. As each scene ends you decide whether to “stick” and see where the story goes or “twist” and let the next director take over. The director who ends up with the least scenes acted out has to pay a ‘terrible forfeit’. Told you it was harsh.

Read More...
North Four, North London magazine, the lacy nook, stoke newington, balkan fusion, cuisine, bar, restaurant, menu, review, beer garden
Eat & Drink

Hidden Culinary Gem: The Lacy Nook

We have been wondering whether or not to share this secret gem with you for a while now. Having walked past Cazenove Road on many a drunken occasion, we’d spotted The Lacy Nook A Board luring us inwards with a siren’s call of cocktails and beer garden. But unfortunately we’d get the timing all wrong and they’d rarely be open. “Closed at 4am! How ludicrous?” we’d holler, slurring and swaying up the road. Until now. Opening last year, The Lacy Nook is a collaboration between two friends who turned to Kickstarter to help them achieve this culinary dream . Think small and large plates of fusion Balkan BBQ, salads and carpaccio alongside

Read More...
North Four, North London magazine, NYT, Theatre, new play, playing up, acting course
Culture

Playing Up: New NYT Show, Three

This year, Playing Up have commissioned a new play by Sophie Ellerby (HighTide First Commissions Writer and NYT REP Company 2013), Three, which will be staged at the Arcola Theatre from 20th to 22nd July. The urban and domestic drama, directed by NYT Associate Director Anna Niland follows three sisters who fight to keep track of reality as their world is turned upside down.

Read More...
North Four, North London magazine, amusical, backyard comedy club, comedians, acts, tickets, bethnal green, josie long
Events

Laughable Acts at Backyard Comedy Club

Tonight, on this dull yet sweaty Monday, what you may well need is to show your confectionary based fillings to the ceiling and let it all out with a huge bellowing guffaw about nothing in particular. Let the likes of quick witted Josie Long, surreal twosome Max and Ivan and the downright uproarious Tom Parry help you escape the chocolate lacking reality of 2017.

Read More...
North Four, North London magazine, staffie, rehoming, dogs, adoption, foster, staffordshire bull terrier, all dogs matter charity
Lifestyle

Fur Dates: Lottie is Looking for Love

Registered charity, All Dogs Matter are a dog rehoming centre based in Archway. They use a mixture of foster homes and kennel spaces to house their dogs, who are each looking to be fostered or adopted. Occasionally we look through their profiles of beautiful singletons looking for love and feature one at random. We interviewed one newly single lady in particular called Lottie. A fun spirited character with smooth hair and a huge grin, Lottie was a right laugh.

Read More...
North Four, North London magazine, jumble trail, vintage clothing, caledonian road, car boot, stalls, bric-a-brac, treasure trove
Events

Get Involved: Cally Road Jumble Trail

Next Sunday it’s the Cally Road Jumble Trail, run by the community. Think a car boot sale but on the street with vintage clothing, accessories, toys, original creations and cakes if you’re lucky. The whole of the trail is set up online over at jumbletrail.com where visitors get a colour coded map to explore and discover all the hidden treasures on offer from your neighbourhood.

Read More...
North Four, North London magazine, wimbledon, tennis, screenings, lifestyle, list, article, what to do, white socks
Lifestyle List

Top Four ‘What the Deuce!’ Wimbledon Screening Spots

You’ve got your socks pulled up but no Cliff Richard in sight. You’re all white shorted up with nowhere to go. It’s time to find out where your white headbanded self will fit in. Here's our top four Wimbledon screening hang outs to try this Summer.

Read More...
North Four, North London magazine, yield n16, cheese, wine, newington green, wine, wine tasting
Eat & Drink Events

Midsummer Fizz Masterclass at Yield N16

Until five minutes ago I would’ve believed Pet Nat was a holistic dog food brand / veterinary business in Wood Green. I’m half right actually*, but in the boozios world it’s a fizzy wine. Pétillant Naturel is light and fizzy, usually pretty low on the alcohol scale and rather sweet. Think the opposite of a dry red wine.

Read More...
North Four, North London magazine, stoke newington, abney park, dogs, dog walking, dog training, north london
Eat & Drink

World Foods Market, Abney Hall

Abney Public Hall is hosting a market of world food delicacies next weekend, having gathered together the creme de la creme of planet Earth’s cuisine. Prepare for a mass fusion of cultures, great food, drink and music just off Stoke Newington Church Street.

Read More...
North Four, North London magazine, avocado, brunch, eggs, breakfast, gentrification, city
Lifestyle

Quiz: How Gentrified Are You?

Otherwise known as the shoredification of London, there are four stages of denial when it comes to dealing with the inevitability of gentrification. Are you a dilapidated ol’ boozer clinging on to the same threads since 1989, or more of a craft beer-swilling/moustache-bearing pop up type propping up the bar at a cookie dough cafe? Let’s find out before your bedroom’s transformed in to a pop up belfie gallery.

Read More...
North Four, North London magazine, the literary hour, supper club, wind in the willows, kenneth grahame, themed event, dining, food, drink
Eat & Drink Events

Poop poop! Supper Club Banquet at Toad Hall

Poop poop! Get your driving gloves on and tweed jackets ready, for Toady has invited us down to Toad Hall for a banquet on the riverbank. Join The Literary Hour for their all new immersive supper club experience this Summer. It’s the eighth in their series of book themed events with multi-sensory five course meals featuring additional surprises… Ooh ratty!

Read More...
North Four, North London magazine, open mic night, the mosutache bar, stoke newington, events, comedians, acts, music, singers, actors
Culture

Comedians, Rappers, Actors: Open Mic Night in Stokey

Every last Thursday of the month a motley crew of performing acts shuffle off to the skinny little Moustache Bar on Stoke Newington Road for a night of microphone hogging. It’s Open Mic night and the stage isn’t just available to acoustic guitar yielding crooners. The floor is open for all you comedians, rappers, poets, hell even actors are welcome to come tread the boards at Moustache Bar this Thursday 27th July.

Read More...
North Four, North London magazine, stoke newington, walking tour, history, guided tour, event, to do, streets, shops
Events Lifestyle

Walking Tour of Stokey's Rebel History

Ah Stokey. You chilled out little rebel of North London. The seemingly easy breezy, laissez-faire attitude that appears to exude from every award winning eatery and baby clothes shop of Church Street is all but an organic hessian veil over it’s anarchic and rebellious history. Nonconformists, anti fascists and dissenters built the area as we know it.

Read More...
North Four, North London magazine, joginders supper club, punjabi cuisine, eating, dining
Eat & Drink

Eating North London: Punjabi Supperclub Recipe

Trying our luck, we decided to ask the wonderful Raina and Saira of Joginder Supper Club to give us some unseen insight in to their centuries old Punjabi recipes. Amazingly they agreed to shed some light on one of their most tasty dishes: the Bhoolghobi Tamatar (cauliflower with tomato and potato). Over to the experts...

Read More...
North Four, North London magazine, tour de france, tour de north london, cycle tour, food tour, french cuisine, review
Culture Eat & Drink Lifestyle

North London Bike Tour: Tour De North Four

So this July 198 cyclists head over to Germany to start the Tour de France. If you think that is weird, wait till I tell you it started in Yorkshire a few years ago. Anyway after the three days of the Grand Depart the spectacle of the world's biggest sporting event heads back to France and the action really begins.

Read More...
North Four, North London magazine, drink shop do, glastonbury, festival, kings cross, event
Lifestyle

Glastonbury Comes to North London

Did you take one look at the ticket prices for Glastonbury, vomit in your mouth and close your laptop slowly? Did you get a debilitating case of FOMO scrolling through your friends Glastonbury pics and “oops lost my phone at Radiohead” status updates? Or did you actually go to Glastonbury, witness Jon Snow drop the f bomb and now know that life will never get any better

Read More...