In Mr. Swallow, Nick Mohammed has created a character so wonderfully original it’s hard to fully explain what he exactly is; nonetheless, this screeching, exasperating and nauseating figure wreaks havoc in a thoroughly enjoyable hour of comedy.
If you’re going to perform something to calamitous effect, you may as well do it in style.
The show is supposed to be a final dress rehearsal of a production of ‘Dracula- The Musical’, yet the unassailable protagonist seems to have little concern for the urgency of proceedings. With a supporting (and long-suffering) cast acting alongside him, Mr. Swallow has little interest in anything but his own interests and whims, which drags the performance into a chaotic farce. His obnoxious blend of physical comedy and camp histrionics consistently gave the audience much to laugh about, with the line between sincere theatre and disaster always swaying dangerously from side to side. Whether it was adding in characters, interrupting scenes or demanding a break to order a Chinese takeaway, it’s evident that artistic endeavors have no standing before the recalcitrant, egocentric eyes of Mr. Swallow.
Whilst a show such as this could be dismissed as one-dimensional buffoonery, the supporting cast are able to deliver some strong musical performances - Joanna Grace in particular - which add depth to the show, even if merely as a device to underline the flaws of its creative supervisor. If you’re going to perform something to calamitous effect, you may as well do it in style. Of course, such is the nature of the pandemonium on stage that the show itself never manages to find a sense of balance, or depth. But that’s hardly the point, and ultimately the real aim of Nick Mohammed’s musical undertaking is to throw the audience into a tumult of puerile silliness, which he unquestionably manages which great success.