Five Star Review from Theatre Weekly

Every so often a comedy comes along that doesn’t have to try too hard, it’s just innately funny and heart-warming. Keith Stevenson’s Out There on Fried Meat Ridge Road, directed by Harry Burton is one of those rare treats, with a few magical moments hidden up its sleeve.

Set in West Virginia, country music plays as the audience takes their seats, the stage takes the form of a grubby motel room clad in wood panelling, and we immediately get the impression of trailer-trash. The characters confirm our suspicions.

Down on his luck Mitch, played by Robert Moloney, has walked ten miles to respond to an ad for a roommate, but he doesn’t realise that’ll involve sharing the tiny motel room and it’s two single beds with JD, a maintenance man come agony uncle.

Over the course of the evening he meets owner, Flip played by Michael Wade, who’s insanely racist and just a little bit creepy – never have the words ‘My Little Pony’ had such a reaction – and neighbours Marlene and Tommy. This mismatched group briefly, and bizarrely, find themselves in a hostage situation with hilarious consequences.

JD, played by writer Keith Stevenson, believes himself to be the son of Christ and has an obsession for Mountain Dew, Vodka and tuna-fish sandwiches which he doles out like medicine. Rough around the edges he’s basically a really nice guy, who just wants to help everyone.  Stevenson definitely brings the role he’s written alive, it’s wonderful to be able to watch him take on a character he clearly loves.

As Marlene, Melanie Gray is superb, from her smeared make-up to screeching drawl she gets the role just right. Alex Ferns as Tommy just cannot help but make you smile, and laugh, a lot.

This has a lot going for it; a beautifully funny play which has been incredibly well written, in its short seventy minutes it goes a long way to restoring your faith in humanity and the real treat is just how endearing the characters are.

Out There On Fried Meat Ridge Road, has already been a huge hit in America, where it’s spawned two sequels; A Fried Meat Christmas and The Unfryable Meatness of Being, so all that’s left to say is how quickly can we get the whole trilogy on to a London stage?

Review Date
Reviewed Item
Out There on Fried Meat Ridge Road at Trafalgar Studios
Author Rating
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  1. I do not often get the chance to go to the theatre but was lucky enough courtesy of the director (many thanks Harry) to see this wonderfull piece of theatrical mayhem. To all those critics who gave it less than five stars I suggest they get a proper job. The 40 mile trip back home by underground shankes pony and train was made better by the feel good factor engendered by seeing this play. Thoroughly recommended.


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