THEATRE | THE THREE KINGS STARRING THOMAS SANGSTER
Happy holidays you lovely lot! Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas. I've been on a role with all the Christmassy theatre productions lately, it's been a wonderfully festive way to spend time in the lead up to to the big day. I almost didn't hear about this little play though, it only ran for a week therefore quite easy to miss if you weren't clued up (I recommend following London theatres on twitter as well as checking out the arts section in the newspapers). Held at the Studio in St. James Theatre (which isn't the main auditorium space), The Three Kings is a short Christmas themed comedy by Gordon Rider that sees Thomas Sangster (Game of Thrones, The Maze Runner) take on the lead role as a builder on a break with his friend from work.
St. James Theatre is a throughly modern and pleasant affair. The first time I visited was to see Dianna Agron in Mcqueen the Play which was held in the main Theatre space. The Studio, it turns out, is in the basement, which I had no idea existed until then. Going down the stairs leads to a bar area with a small elevated stage to its left. The seats are simply cafe chairs and mini round tables positioned around the stage in a 'theatre setup' and there is a balcony area with more plush armchairs and tabled that acts as the 'circle' part. I'm not sure whether the furniture gets reverted back into a cafe/lounge setup whenever there isn't a play on but I must admit it's a simple yet effective use of the space.
The play is basically set in a bar where work mates Block and Tackle discuss their mundane lives. After Block reveals that his missus forgot his birthday over the weekend, he enquires when Tackle's is and is thoroughly shocked when he reveals his birthday in fact falls on Christmas day. After some initial disbelief, a series of strange events happen as Tackle is delivered some mysterious gifts from unknown suitors and Block starts to wonder whether his friend being born on the 25th of December is really a coincidence at all...
Antony Eden and Thomas Sangster deliver some hilarious banter as Block and Tackle respectively, pretty much every line had me chuckling and the pair are seriously magnetic to watch despite the characters' potty mouths and stubborn attitudes (which probably means they pulled it really well). Vanessa-Faye Stanley, who is the only actress in the play, unexpectedly takes the spotlight as the free-spirited and quirky bartender who ends up being quite the voice of reason. She also switches to play other minor characters in the blink of an eye which I found super impressive especially seeing as they were all vastly different in mannerisms and appearance. The play is quite short (the entire thing clocks in at 35 minutes with no interval) but definitely packs a punch.
The Three Kings is now over (sad face as it only ran for a week) but check out St James Theatre for more plays.