Every so often there's a show on that I feel I have to go see, not particularly because it sounds good, but more because the whole thing seems wrapped up in so many layers of "what the fuck?" that I just have to go along to make sure I didn't imagine it. Hence Kurt & Sid, in which, on the night of Kurt Cobain's suicide, he is visited by the ghost of Sid Vicious. As played by Danny Dyer. Like I say, levels upon levels of WTF.
Roy Smiles' play has the two iconic figures mostly trading insults and one-liners, and to be fair it's engaging for a lot of the time, and in Tim Stark's production what sounds like a ludicrous premise just about manages to work. Dyer may not be the most versatile of actors but he's on safe ground here with a part he seems to be hugely enjoying, adding a bit of camp swagger to his Sid. Kurt is played by Shaun Evans (he was in the second series of Teachers as the gay teacher who'd disappeared by the start of the next series AND NOBODY EVER MENTIONED HIM AGAIN) and who despite a lot of TV work hasn't worked professionally on stage before, not that it shows. He's excellent as the shuffling, jittery Cobain, looks the part what with the hair, the stubble and the cardigan, and the only shame is he doesn't get to do more as Cobain's mood doesn't really change from one of angry depression througout. And that's the biggest problem for me: Near the end we discover the reason Kurt has conjured Sid up may not be to talk him out of shooting himself, but for most of the play that's what he's trying to do, and of course we know he's going to fail. The fact that it never for a moment seems like Kurt will change his mind means the play doesn't take on the tragic tone it might have done.
Kurt & Sid by Roy Smiles is booking until the 3rd of October at Trafalgar Studio 2.