WEEK 53: Fat Roland: Seven Inch – review

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Have you ever been to see a show at the theatre and thought to yourself, “I wonder what the staff thought of that?”

Here at The Lowry we host a wide range of shows from musicals to drama, comedy to opera. Week 53 is The Lowry’s festival for the compulsively curious and we invited some of our contemporary ambassador staff to let us know what they think of the programme.

Sam Creedon usually works in on our Box Office team as Ticketing Team Leader, but he was our Week 53 reviewer and his subject was Fat Roland’s Seven Inch.

Over to you Sam…

Week 53 is back, and the Lowry’s biennial festival of curiosity, craziness and all things creative, has once again pulled out all the stops. With this year’s theme being the coming of age I was really intrigued by a certain piece, the latest creation from Manchester spoken-word legend Fat Roland.  Considering as I knew very little about Roland himself, when I read that he had been likened to “Johnny Vegas devouring Sam Simmons…on a rollercoaster…driven by a depressed buffalo”, I knew I was in for a treat.

Fat Roland : Seven Inch is a charming, witty and eye-opening one-man show brimming with gags and well-timed musical references. The hour-long piece follows Fat Roland, a lonely record shop owner who through music, tells the story of his shop and his upcoming forty-fifth birthday party in which his beloved store plays host.

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As Fat Roland waits on his so-called ‘friends’ to arrive, we are treated to a nostalgic and anecdotal journey through the history of music all detailed through a set of hilarious illustrations. For me, the standout feature of the performance was by far Roland’s set design. His creation had a little bit of everything in it and, thanks to his hilarious doodles, was a stage that I felt resonated with all ages.

Although littered with musical jokes, Roland makes it impossible to ignore the standout theme of loneliness in the show as he uses his references to pave over his character’s insecurities.

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All in all, the show is funny, well-timed and I think it’s safe to say that not many will have seen anything like it. Although some of the gags might go over people’s heads, Fat Roland has conjured a masterpiece here which breaks down and tackles some of our biggest worries in the world in a funny and digestible manner.

As a complete newbie to the world of Fat Roland, I was pleasantly surprised. This was a real performer using real music to talk about what really matters. Money, Power, Sex, Friends, and Cake.

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