“OLIVER Reed – Wild Thing” is a play that Arts page flagged a month back when Reed’s eldest son Mark was around to launch a tour of this one-man spectacular. Mark Reed did not originate the play but rather, was so taken by work he saw by actor-writer Rob Crouch and producer/writer Mike Davis on stage that Reed Jnr became a willing aid in this retrospective.
See it this weekend, Saturday May 18 at Lime Tree Theatre, South Circular Road.
It is delivered by Oliver Reed (Crouch) himself from a barstool in Gibralter, recapping his tumultous life and times to the audience. Unknown to him but known to us, this is his last day. Getting properly, riotously drunk and being loquacious enough to telescope Reed’s up and down life, his choppy childhood included.
Rob Crouch takes up at the onset:
“I had met Mike in the business and I was p*ssing around, looking for festival show, one that I could do, that takes you on a journey of highs and lows and has a rumbustious presence. Both of us were completely gripped by Oliver, his life and really compelling self. We wanted the audience to feel who he was and for it to be a coherent and real portrait”.
Mark came along to lift the developing work beyond the film and TV clip showman, acknowledging that his (loved, loving, interactive) father “was the least introspective of men”.
Back to Crouch: “We take it from the final, redemptive cycle of Oliver’s life.. that he died in the middle of one of his great triumphs. People come out of the show with a fierce sense that justice is served to the man”.
Roll up this raconteur extraordinaire, his stories and his sup, at Lime Tree Theatre on Saturday May 18, 8pm.