Rose Theatre, Kingston-Upon-Thames – until 9 April 2022
Bristol Old Vic, Bristol – 13-23 April 2022
A Monster Calls, which is based on the book of the same name, is an absolutely wonderful play about Connor O’Malley (Anthony Aje), as he struggles to come to terms with his beliefs about his mother (Bridgette Amofah), who is in the late stages of cancer.
To help him come to terms with what he really wants, the yew tree near his house comes to life as a monster (Keith Gilmore), telling him three stories that mirror his life without Connor realising, and eventually forcing him to speak his truth. Connor finds this difficult because he hates himself for thinking it, and it is clear throughout the show that he wants to be punished because he thinks it makes him a bad person.
There are not enough stars I could give that would show how truly amazing this play is. With Bridgette Amofah’s gripping portrayal of Connor’s mum, and Anthony Aje’s immaculate portrayal of Connor, this play is one of the best shows I’ve ever seen. Not to mention the powerful performance by Keith Gilmore as the monster, and the astonishing vocals provided by Eleanor Kane during some of the most dramatic moments of the show.
The set is made up of a row of chairs on either side of the stage, and ropes hung from the flight rig, which are used at various moments during the play, mostly for the monster himself, or to help tell his stories. This works wonderfully, and is well paired with the non-naturalistic style of the play.
I feel incredibly lucky to have had the opportunity to see this absolute masterpiece. It should definitely not be missed by anyone. It is a great trip out for the whole family, just don’t forget your tissues.
‘Great for the whole family, just don’t forget your tissues’: @FairyPowered on @AMonsterPlay at @RoseTheatre & @BristolOldVic. ★★★★★ #AMonsterCalls #pagetostage #theatrereviews
‘Great for the whole family, just don’t forget your tissues’: A MONSTER CALLS – Touring ★★★★★