James Meehan: Class Act
Angry hour about class that lacks a degree of polish
This article is from 2016.
A failed acting audition drove James Meehan to explore classism in this, his debut solo show. As a working-class performer he felt aggrieved when a middle-class rival got a part that Meehan was convinced he himself was born to play. And he's still really annoyed about it. It's not the strongest of catalysts but he uses it to venture into worthy and sometimes personal topics, such as disability, depression and racism.
Meehan is a member of sketch group Gein's Family Giftshop and was part of 2014's breakout hit show Funz and Gamez, which makes it all the more disappointing that his solo hour is so unpolished. Structurally, it's all over the place and it's jarring when he repeatedly tries to link his ramblings to the subject of class when they're patently unrelated.
Although Meehan is an engaging performer, much of Class Act comes across as a diatribe against injustice rather than an hour of comedy, which he himself admits. He claims the first draft of his show was unfunny as he was still too angry about his failed audition. From the state of this finished piece, it would seem he's still not calmed down.
Just the Tonic at the Tron, until 28 Aug, 6.20pm, £5.