Nimmo Twin Owen Evans’ triumphant return to stage
Darts ace Norman 'Rhino' Hamilton has lost his form, his woman and his confidence.
This new drama penned by Norfolk playwright Rob John charts his attempts to bounce back on all three fronts.
It was written for lead actor Owen Evans, one half of the Nimmo Twins comedy duo, and results in a triumphant return to his acting roots, which first found fertile ground at Paston College under the guidance of Mr John.
The author's well-crafted script, rippling with sharp dialogue and strong characterisation, blends humour with a soul-baring delve into frailties lurking under the Rhino's skin, which occasionally see the meek man erupt as his suppressed emotions boil over.
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Evans, who hails from Cromer and now lives in Norwich, peels back his seemingly simple character's complex layers with a powerful and poignant performance, as he wrestles with his fall from being in the world top 10, to a sad existence as a confidence-sapped semi-recluse, before the hope of resurrection arrives.
The other cast members of the new fEast theatre company, aiming to showcase local professional talent, also shine when they step up to the oche: Hayley Thompson as the long-suffering doting fan who takes Norman in during his troubled times, Robin McLoughlin as the flashy agent trying to resurrect the star's career and image, and Sarah Langrish-Smith as his flirty partner whose signals confuse and derail Norman's recovering self-confidence.
The play was fittingly premiered on Wednesday at Paston College in North Walsham where the seeds of this blossoming partnership were sown, and as an opening shot for this promising drama group it is simply a stunning bullseye.
One Eighty is at Lowestoft's Seagull theatre tonight April 7, Sheringham Little Theatre on Saturday night, Halesworth Cut on Tuesday 12, and has a short run at Norwich Playhouse from April 14-16.