Every show should have an impact on its audience. If a production doesn’t have showstopper numbers, riotous comedy or devastating tragedy, then the alternative needs to be just as impactful. The Ugly One is entertaining, interesting and well-written, but it doesn’t have quick enough of a kick. After seeing a thought-provoking comedy, I want to leave the theatre buzzing with questions and still thinking things through. But, whilst I really enjoyed parts of The Ugly One, I very much left the play behind when I walked out of the theatre.
There is some very clever comedy in The Ugly One, which is well-written in the script and drawn out by the staging. That said, this is more of a nice addition to the play than something that I would give in isolation as a reason to see the production.
One aspect that I did really like about the show was the playing of multiple characters, by three of the four actors. In itself, the way that the actors switched between characters sometimes mid-sentence created a very refreshing and enjoyable sort of comedy.
The cast does well to keep a high level of energy throughout the show, particularly considering that the staging leaves them very exposed to the audience. I was particularly impressed by Indra Ové’s performance, which was both compelling and entertaining. All in all, The Ugly One is a unique and interesting production, which perhaps just needed a bit more of an impact to lift it off the ground.