Review: Roll On The Day - Etcetera Theatre, Camden


Etcetera Theatre - Camden

Thursday 29th March: Musical drama Roll On The Day follows immigrant Eko as he recounts his former years as a Nigerian revolutionary and tries to move forward with his new life in London. Providing paintings to tourists, Eko (Amersackie Osakonor) tells fellow street-seller Dan (Sean Keating) his fears of returning to his home country after overthrowing the dictator. His luck seems to change, however, when he falls for Lavinia (Kendra McMillan), who commissions a painting of Africa.

Osakonor and Keating are paired brilliantly and their exchanges portray a genuine friendship that gives Eko a sense of security to tell his tales of Nigeria. Their scenes evolve gradually, giving the majority of the show an enjoyably mellow feel. 

McMillan is strong in the role of Lavinia although her relationship with Eko feels rushed and they are never really given enough time to develop. 

The set is simple but effective in the small venue. Eko's area is scattered with canvases whilst Dan has a small stall selling royal memorabilia. The show never leaves this setting but it works well as Dan and Lavinia both bring a different feel to their scenes, leaving a distinct separation between Eko's relationship to them both. 

Whilst the production and cast were faultless, I was unsure about the show itself. At just 60 minutes long, not only does it feel very short but the pacing is completely bizarre. The first 50 minutes develop on just the right side of slow but the final 10 minutes are packed with action and plot turns that leave a distinctly confused feel to the piece. A duet of the title song between Dan and Lavinia during their first real interaction on stage felt like the perfect place for an interval but instead the dramatic remainder of the plot was then condensed into a sudden ending.

The script has been developed since the 1990s and to me it still needs considerable work, but A Stage Kindly's production is well worth a watch, with a fantastic cast overwhelming the intimate venue. 

Listings info

Tuesday 27th March - Sunday 15th April 2012
7.30pm (6.30pm Sunday, no performances on Mondays)
Etcetera Theatre, 265 Camden High Street, London, NW1 7BU
Tickets: £12/£10 (concs)
Box Office: 0207 482 4857

Review by Louise Miles