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Brighton Fringe 2014

Rock And A Hard place

Act Naturally and Magus Theatre Productions

Genre: Mainstream Theatre

Venue: Upstairs at the Three and Ten


Low Down

 A man wakes up one morning to find a large rock blocking his drive and he can’t get his car out to go to work. It’s a nice premise for a play – a rock stands in our way. Where did it come from? Did someone put it there? Is it a joke, are there hidden cameras? Could it be a meteor?


Rock And A Hard Place is adapted from the play by Ann-Maria Bamberger and Christoph Bamberger, both medical doctors and theatre practitioners from Germany and the play has the feel of a German expressionist piece. But is not played that way, instead it’s played naturalistically by actor Simon De Cintra as Freddie Hammond, a British, middle management bank manager type in mid-life crisis. It’s not a one person show though because the rock is an important character and over a series of short scenes we see Freddie’s developing relationship with the rock as his own life comes apart at the seams.

There are some nice humorous moments and it’s enjoyable to discover each new position Freddie finds to perch upon the rock as the lights come up on each new scene. There’s also a satisfying ending as Freddie makes peace with the rock and with his own life.

It’s a small scale show that fitted perfectly onto the Three and Ten stage. The production is well staged and directed by Jonathan Guy Lewis and Simon De Cintra pulls off a difficult role that includes lots of conversations on a mobile phone. The very attractive rock is also well performed by ‘the rock’, although when Freddie kicked it I think the audience noticed it sounded a bit hollow for a two tonne rock. They were so entertained though that they were happy to allow the rock some artistic licence.