While streams have admittedly taken a back seat since theatres started to re-open 2 months ago, there is still some new content being made and released online. No stranger to streamed productions is Michael Conley who returns for another, following The Fabulist Fox Sister and The Sorrows of Satan.
The Cancellation of Crispin Cox is a one-man play focusing on Conley as the titular character as he sits in his dressing room, preparing for the press night of his new one-man musical Les Liaisons Dangereuses where he plays all eight characters. Treating his reflection in the mirror as an audience, he recollects how he got to be in this position as a last minute replacement due to the cancellation of his "Very best friend" Freedman.
The action doesn't move from the dressing room with one camera firnly fixed on the back of Conley's head and his reflection in the mirror. Our only reminder of the outside world comes from the frequent phonecalls Crispin receives from his various very best friends as well as reminders that not far away is an audience awaiting Crispin to give them the performance of his life.
Michael Conley is, as ever, a delight. Full of charisma that accompanies a more sinister character, he gives an utterly captivating performance which never wavers throughout the speedy 50 minutes of the production. Like his previous work in The Fabulist Fox Sister, Conley proves that all he needs is a camera and he can create a truly mesmerising piece of theatre.
As the title suggests, cancel culture is one of the topics at play. More relevant than ever at the moment, Cox gets a career boost due to the cancellation of somebody else but it isn't meant to be, as by the night ends, he too will be cancelled. As Cox realises his imminent cancellation, we see him speed through a range of tactics as he desperately tries to avoid the inevitable. It is never in question that the character deserves his cancelling, particularly as he tries to lie and cheat his way out of it. A timely and relevant topic that has thusfar been largely untouched, it makes for an interesting backdrop to what is otherwise a fairly simple tale.
Conley is at its best channelling every ounce of humanity that remains in Crispin Cox's cancelled soul. Witty dialogue that proves laugh out loud at funny at times, interspersed with Cox's big musical number he can never finish ensure this is never a dull watch. A truly entertaining and enjoyable piece of theatre which prove streamed productions should not be cancelled just yet.
The Cancellation of Crispin Cox is available to stream from Thursday 29th July until Sunday 29th August at crispincox.com