The Internet Theater Magazine of Reviews, Features, Annotated Listings








Etcetera and
Short Term Listings


NYC Restaurants


New Jersey







Free Updates
Writing for Us
A CurtainUp London London Review
Wet Weather Cover

Marlow all rhetoric and Shakespeare all character! — Stuart
Wet Weather Cover
Steve Furst as Stuart and Michael Brandon as Brad (Nick Wall)
In an amazingly realistic leaking trailer set in a very wet Spain, two actors pass the time while waiting for the director to call the shots. Wet Weather Cover is Oliver Cotton's debut play. Cotton is a well respected actor who has been hiding a talent for writing pure comedy. It is also actor Kate Fahy's directing debut, playing at the well established pub theatre, The King's Head in Islington. I'd love someone to tell me how Tanya McCallin's atmospheric trailer set was jammed into the tiny space at the King's Head.

A camp and surly Spanish dresser called Pepe (Pepe Balderrama), with no command of English, tries to persuade Brad to change his Tudor shirt. Pepe wants to turn the white shirt into a grey one for the next scene in this under-financed film about Cortes and the conquistadores. Despite being an American (with presumably Spanish as a second language), Brad refuses to comply with the insistent requests of Pepe although his gestures convey what Pepe wants, and the exchange gets heated. I couldn't work out who was laughing more in the audience, those with brilliant Spanish, those with a smattering of Spanish or those without any. I really enjoyed Pepe wearing frayed shorts in his attempts to dress Bradley by tucking in Brad's shirt and Brad's wrist slapping defence of his anatomy!

Enter another actor, dressed in a tonsure wig, under a woman's folding rain hat that ties under the chin. This is Steve Furst as Stuart, an English bit actor not entitled to his own trailer but hanging out in Brad's, which is fine until the two men start to quarrel and the argument takes a territorial turn. As Stuart is reading a book about the murder of Kit Marlowe, the two thespians argue the toss as to whether Shakespeare was written by Marlowe and which was the greater playwright. From their quick fire argument, they switch to a speech from the Bard's Richard II in skilful unison.

Their rivalry takes in the differences in acting styles between the classically trained English actor and the method acting American. As they get drunk the arguments get more personal with alcoholic Stuart's attack on America and all things American, "Half the world hate your guts, " he says. Bradley reminds us that "Shakespeare's just about the only thing your country has got left" Brad will rehearse his scene including the bit where he gallops on a horse allowing for the confines of the caravan and they will re-work the fight scene between their characters in the movie, Stuart's cleric and Brad's deputy to Cortes, Gonzalo de Sandoval.

Oliver Cotton has obviously put to good use the film actor's years spent hanging around on set waiting for perfect conditions to film a costume drama and maybe was also inspired by Terry Gilliam's film about the ill-fated project which was recorded in Lost in La Mancha. After such a hilarious first hour, it is hard to tie an ending together which can live up to what has gone before, but Wet Weather Cover should encourage both Oliver Cotton to write some more plays and Kate Fahy to direct again.

Subscribe to our FREE email updates with a note from editor Elyse Sommer about additions to the website -- with main page hot links to the latest features posted at our numerous locations. To subscribe, E-mail:
put SUBSCRIBE CURTAINUP EMAIL UPDATE in the subject line and your full name and email address in the body of the message -- if you can spare a minute, tell us how you came to CurtainUp and from what part of the country.
Wet Weather Cover
Written by Oliver Cotton
Directed by Kate Fahy

Starring: Michael Brandon
With: Steve Furst and Pepe Balderrama
Design: Tanya McCallin
Lighting: Emma Chapman
Sound: Tim Middleton
Fright Director: Terry King
Running time: One hour 30 minutes without an interval
Box Office: 0844 209 0326 or online at
Booking to 21st February 2010
Reviewed by Lizzie Loveridge based on 29th January 2010 performance at the King's Head, 115 Upper Street, Islington, London N1 1QN (Tube: Angel, Islington)

Highlight one of the responses below and click "copy" or"CTRL+C"
  • I agree with the review of Wet Weather Cover
  • I disagree with the review of Wet Weather Cover
  • The review made me eager to see Wet Weather Cover
Click on the address link E-mail:
Paste the highlighted text into the subject line (CTRL+ V):

Feel free to add detailed comments in the body of the email . . . also the names and emails of any friends to whom you'd like us to forward a copy of this review.

London Theatre Tickets
Lion King Tickets
Billy Elliot Tickets
Mighty Boosh Tickets
Mamma Mia Tickets
We Will Rock You Tickets
Theatre Tickets
London Theatre Walks

Peter Ackroyd's  History of London: The Biography

London Sketchbook

tales from shakespeare
Retold by Tina Packer of Shakespeare & Co.
Click image to buy.
Our Review

©Copyright 2010, Elyse Sommer.
Information from this site may not be reproduced in print or online without specific permission from