Half A Person: My Life as Told by the Smiths (2 stars)

This article is from 2012

Half A Person: My Life as Told by the Smiths

A fair performance let down by clichéd, unimaginative writing

A twentysomething Smiths fan living in London tells of his brief encounter with a girl from Manchester and his friendship with a terminally ill gay man. Pivotal moments from the life of the young lad, who is of course called William, are underscored with Morrissey’s lyrics, sung live and backed by snippets of the original recordings.

It’s not a bad idea for a show, but the life of this self-obsessed youngster isn’t terribly interesting, especially when it’s sandwiched between slices of Mozza’s resonant melancholy poetry. The real problem is the writing: it’s full of clichés and lacks the kind of particularity that can make ordinary lives interesting, something Morrissey has gloried in. Also, it doesn’t ring true, from the characters and relationships down to little details about being a Smiths fan (if you were, you would be aware Morrissey had a solo career, for one example).

There’s nothing really wrong with the performance, but there’s no getting round the fact that the writing’s rubbish.

Zoo Southside, 662 6892, until 27 Aug (not 15), 7.50pm, £8 (£6).

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