May I Have the Pleasure . . . ? (3 stars)

This article is from 2011

May I Have the Pleasure . . . ?

Photography | Niall Walker

Champagne, slow dancing and loneliness

Adrian Howells is a warm and empathetic character and a captivating speaker. This helps to explain why he’s been picked to be a best man six times. However, in this one-man show he’s facing up to some cold facts. Like how, at 50 years old, he’s still looking for that elusive long-term relationship. Or how his friends who got married have since grown distant. Was it that misjudged comment in his best man speech that drove them away?

This show is part video footage of those fateful speeches, part seminar on the nature of weddings, and part confessional therapy, all set within a very realistic reception room at the Point Hotel. The talking is broken up by one-on-one dances between Howells and selected audience members. Much like a real wedding these take place while the rest of the audience make innocuous chitchat.

Also much like a real wedding, there’s the strong sense that the guests are mostly redundant. This is Howells’ special day, and our chance to share in his experiment in wedding catharsis. His revelations, though moving, are his and his alone, and his enthusiasm at taking to the floor at the show’s euphoric climax does not spread across the whole audience. There are some who make their excuses and leave early to beat the traffic.

Traverse @ The Point Hotel Conference Centre, 228 1404, until 28 Aug (not 25 & 26), 7.45pm £17–£19 (£12–£13).

May I Have the Pleasure…?

  • 3 stars

Join Adrian at the last dance of yet another wedding disco in a new performance, which uses humorous, poignant, autobiographical anecdote, original home movie footage, collective reminiscing and all your favourite timeless love songs to contemplate the irony of feeling isolated in the midst of a communal celebration of…