Doors To Manual is part sketch comedy show, introducing us to characters on an aeroplane and part aviation fun fact lesson.
Rhiannon Vivian plays six characters on board an aeroplane, plus herself. It is the scenes with herself that we learn about her life, her struggles with a fear of flying and how that fear turned into a fascination. We meet the little welsh lone traveller, who doesn’t like using public toilets incase the doors don’t unlock. The girl obsessed with taking selfies and who really bases her life’s existence on getting the perfect picture. The scared northerner who is trying to escape a life where her boyfriend has just left her for another woman and who’s mother is dating one of her exes. A Georgie chav and the Essex air hostess.
Doors To Manual may not be everyone’s cup of tea (five people walked out of the performance to which Rhiannon shouted “thanks for coming, there’s no oxygen on the way down”). She uses a very dry sense of humour where jokes are sometimes funniest because they make no real sense at all. I think you either have that sense of humour or you don’t but luckily I do!
The ‘interesting geeky aviation facts’ scene was aimed at the super geeky plane lovers and went a bit over my head but I’m sure some people would have loved it. I was hoping for more generic facts like how it’s safer to fly than drive a car which may have been more on a general audiences level. The show wasn’t quite sure what it wanted to achieve. Sketch comedy or a show for plane geeks? However, Rhiannon is a talented actress who is great at accents and is a credit to society proving that you can face your fears and overcome them.
Doors To Manual is playing at Just The Tonic The Mash House until 28 August 2016 (not 15th)
Reviewed by West End Wilma