REVIEW: MAN AND SUPERFAN (The Bedford)
Theatre N16 are now based in SW12 having moved to The Bedford in Balham. They bring a collection of new plays to the Tavistock Room, upstairs in this sprawling pub.
Man and Superfan takes us into the domestic world of Mark Chapman, before he became famous for shooting John Lennon. We meet Mark, his wife, his sister and her boyfriend, around the dinner table at Mark and Gloria’s house, the evening before he takes a flight to New York. The play presents an insight into Chapman’s mind through his interactions with those in his circle and monologues to the audience.
In the cast of four young actors, Pete Darwent as Chapman has by far the most to do; the rest of the cast are there to highlight elements of his personality and show his obsessive nature. Chapman’s sister and wife smooth the tension of the first meeting of the brother and boyfriend. The boyfriend throws a spotlight on Chapman’s obsession with The Beatles.
The set is simple, a dining table and chairs, a record collection and a copy of The Catcher in the Rye. The lighting switches between the bright lights of the dining room to a blueish tinge when Chapman talks directly to the audience, while the rest of the cast pause mid-conversation.
This play poses a lot of questions and hints at many possible reasons Chapman killed his idol, while presenting no clear answers. It sent me away wanting to find out more.
Reviewed by Rhiannon Evans