Feminism is an interesting thing. We all know it’s a good thing, there’s no doubt of that. But everyone’s interpretations of what feminism is to them can differ from person to person. Tom Neenan has his own way of being a feminist, but it’s probably not in the same way as you’d think– or is it? I should point out right now, Tom Neenan is not technically playing himself, he’s playing a twisted, wannabe male feminist Tom Neenan. Just to clear that up because some people seem to have taken him a little too seriously. He confidently strides onto stage and greets the audience with a “hello people… and gentlemen!”
This is the first year that Neenan hasn’t been playing a character. Last year, he played David Attenborough in easily my favourite show of the 2017 Fringe. In this show, Neenan explains his desire to know the truth of the disappearance of his girlfriend. She has been missing for about a month, and hasn’t been heard from since. The last text message he received from her mysteriously read: “It’s Always Infinity”.
The next hour is a descent into the mindset of the paranoid Neenan, convinced that she has been kidnapped and singles out her ex-boyfriend (and his dislike of Skyfall) and his girlfriend’s best friend as likely candidates. Neenan is on top form as his smooth, classy character who ends up morphing into this crazed, conspiracy nut throughout the sixty minutes. The stage setup is pretty standard with a general use of lighting and sound.
Neenan, however, really knows how to use projection to enhance his performance. It worked wonderfully in Attenborough and works really well here, with his ‘smartphone’ screen projected onto the back wall. He takes us through menus, shows us pictures (lots of a Daniel Craig movie), people, messages and all sorts as he tried to figure out where she has gone and what ‘It’s Always Infinity’ actually means.
We do of course find out. And it is hilarious. Telegraphed early in the start of the show, I doubt that now I’ve even told you that you’ll figure it out. Tom Neenan is proving himself to be a fantastic comic actor and no doubt we’ll see more of him over the coming years. Last year, he wrote two episodes of a Halloween special for Radio 4 and it looks as though he’s going to be doing that again this year.
The reliably great Neenan returns to the Fringe with another fantastic one man show.