Direction: Geoff Pinfield (created by Geoff Pinfield and Athur Meek – based on a book by Richard Meros)
Circa Theatre; Circa Two (January 30 – February 20)
Richard Meros is the “self-proclaimed Mouthpiece of the Millenials” – we’ve seen, heard and read him in other performances by Arthur Meek. You see Arthur Meek is Richard Meros, at least in performance. He might even be him – for Richard Meros is a (pen) name that a small group of people hide inside pushing out fake-propaganda, satire, short-stories, scripts…usually both weird and wonderful…
Arthur Meek has previously performed Richard Meros in Salutes the Southern Man and On the Conditions an Possibilities of Helen Clark Taking Me as Her Young Lover; that book/play is the blueprint for Hillary Clinton / Young Lover (its full title On The Conditions and Possibilties of Hillary Clinton Taking Me as Her Young Lover is both implied and referenced in this new set of riffs.).
Performed in a small handful of one-offs, baffling American audiences no doubt – many there perhaps to just laugh at a Flight Of The Conchords-accent…it is now enjoying a season at Circa.
Taking the shape of a powerpoint presentation, Meek-as-Meros walks us through his spurious research and hopefully everyone twigs, swiftly, that this shaggy-dog tale is about the telling. As with previous Meek endeavours there’s something mesmerising about the way his Meros character works – a tribute to the writing behind it and the acting that fronts those absurd, witty lines.
He’s slowly, surely, becoming an Antipodean Alan Partridge – crackpot theories couching political satire, the Richard Meros of the stage is a set of blurred lines, as Arthur Meek uses his own knowledge to pinpoint audience members to engage with, deftly portraying himself as caricature so as to get away with – well – almost anything.
It would be cruel to ruin any of the great lines here – as Meek nails both the prepared bits and the tiny little escape-routes down into improve – but Hillary Clinton / Young Lover fulfils one of the key elements of theatre: it’s entertaining. Hugely entertaining. You don’t check your watch, you don’t wonder why you’re there or what you’re seeing – you sit back and get hit (hard!) with 60 minutes of entertainment. That there’s genuine wit and wordplay and the most wonderful elements of absurdity too – well that’s all just icing.
I look forward to this Richard Meros geezer hosting gameshows, running for local office, even hosting a reboot of Heartland as scripted by Steve Braunias and Paul Casserly (not that “Meros” himself/selves couldn’t do the writing). But for right now we have his boasting and being hopeful about being the right man for a job you hadn’t ever thought about. And that’s enough. For now.