Hackney Citizen
Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Reindeer Monologues

Every Tuesday and Wednesday until Christmas at The Lion, Church Street, Stoke Newington

Andrew Gonsalves

T'is the season to be jolly. Unless you are one of Santa's reindeers and you are debating going on strike because the boss has been sexually abusing you and your colleagues.

This is what sets the story for The Reindeer Monologues, showing at The Lion pub in Stoke Newington. "It's a very dark comedy but it's fun," says producer and performer Mattie Crowley. "It's making humour out of very human issues."

American Jeff Goode wrote The Reindeer Monologues a few years ago, and while there are a number of ways of interpreting what Goode was getting at, there are messages about corporate greed and corruption, as well as some indirect humour about the misfortunes recently suffered by the Catholic Church.

There is a wealth of talent involved in the play's production. Crowley and a number of the other actors are from Kevin Spacey's Old Vic New Voices programme, which nurtures emerging talent in the capital. The show is produced by Iestyn Edwards, better known as Channel 4's Madam Galina, and who has sung on board HMS Victory, in front of the Queen.

Crowley is incredibly happy to have secured The Lion, which is fast becoming one of the most exciting fringe venues in London, as the home for the show. "There is a connection between Stoke Newington and theatre," says Crowley. "There are so many artistic people, I think everybody I meet down Church Street wants to appreciate Hamlet or Macbeth."

This is not the first show Crowley has been involved with at The Lion, and he is hoping it will not be his last either. Crowley's aim is to establish a new theatre in Stoke Newington, and he is calling on the local community to support the performances so that, eventually, a dedicated theatre for the area can get off the ground.

The Reindeer Monologues runs every Tuesday and Wednesday until Christmas at The Lion, Church Street, Stoke Newington.