St. Ann's Warehouse presents Daniel Kitson's solo show about a writer's very strange and life-changing all-night phone call. More…
The play opens with William Booth alone in his barren industrial office, still hard at work nailing down the story points of his tale about a woman and the talking mouse she discovers in her home. About to head home for the night, his phone rings. It's a wrong number, but William quickly enters into a genial dialogue with the man on the other end of the line, whose voice sounds uncannily like his own. What follows is a story about friendship and loneliness, doubt and hope, decisions made and not made, and the unfathomable repercussions of everything we ever do.
"If there’s one lesson to be derived from 'Mouse,' it’s that you should always be suspicious of the connections you wishfully intuit with people you talk to. On the other hand, if you’re too wary in assessing what others have to say, then you’ll wind up missing out on many of the more pleasurable entertainments life has to offer, like this very show...Mr. Kitson has an uncommon gift for sustaining not only different and seemingly divergent story lines but also different sensibilities." Full Review
"Kitson is a defiantly compelling performer...One of the great pleasures of a Kitson show is the contrast between the sweetness at the heart of many of his stories and the rather more acerbic quality of his audience interactions...Those who have seen Kitson’s work before will find the tone familiar and several of the twists extremely guessable. Still, there’s a beautifully shambolic quality to much of the show and the extemporaneous moments make the piece feel excitingly unpredictable." Full Review
"The most endearing sections are when he speaks directly to us…At times, and in comparison to these outrageously charming moments, the scripted sections can feel slightly too artificial, and we do see narrative developments coming a mile away. But that's all part of the aesthetic. Kitson likes a certain sense of the inevitable...Once you grasp a Kitson conceit, you should just sit back and watch it unwind like a reel-to-reel tape." Full Review
"Though the script takes some predictable turns, Kitson’s performance is consistently delightful...Only occasionally does this set of deftly interlaced shaggy-dog stories start to feel a bit too shaggy. Some more compression would help streamline things, to avoid the feeling of an overly drawn-out conclusion, but 'Mouse' still manages to capture the audience’s imagination in a sticky, sweet, entertaining trap of a play." Full Review
for a previous production "This could become just another self-absorbed piece about the life of the artist...As ever, though, in Kitson’s hands, the language takes flight, and the detail of contemporary life that forms the backdrop to this strange incident glows with a strange, affectionate vividness, offering us a journey through loss, coincidence, and the tiny decisions that shape our lives, that haunts the mind, and confirms Kitson’s status as a master storyteller at the height of his powers." Full Review
for a previous production "Kitson's dialogue combines gorgeous turns of phrase, daft comedy riffs, and more profound digs into human psyche...Kitson has won a huge following for tucking a comedian's laugh-rate inside moving stories of human frailty, served through some fiendish technical conceit or formal invention. 'Mouse' delivers on all three, a well-sprung trap of a show that draws you in and snaps shut in a hugely satisfying fashion." Full Review
for a previous production "Unsurprisingly for a show set in a steel container, 'Mouse' can feel claustrophobic, and couldn’t be accused of getting quickly to its point. But as ever, it’s easy to submit to Kitson’s playfully showy writing and his spirit of romantic melancholy that steers for the heart of what being alive is all about…The occasional clunkiness is forgivable in a show this humane and open-hearted." Full Review
for a previous production “As a writer and director he’s perfectly attuned to the uncomfortable mannerisms of communication with strangers, of breaking down the walls of resistance to shared experience which his characters have built...Some may argue that a piece in which so little essentially happens is overlong at one hundred minutes, that there’s a certain sense of repetition which might have been pared down without harming the work. I guess that depends on the viewer’s taste for Kitson." Full Review
for a previous production "What is refreshingly enjoyable here is the way the story evolves. The chat is like a chess game, each man making a move to outwit the other. Even if you guess the end the reveal is neatly executed. ‘Mouse’ may leave some cold, but despite an undertow of melancholy it finds the writer in accessible comic form, reflecting in an aside on losing friends to 'marriage, parenthood or the east Midlands.' Even if this is not Kitson at full throttle there is much here that will stay in the memory." Full Review
for a previous production "A consciously discursive meditation on the solitary nature of the creative process as internal dialogues vie for attention. In this way, Kitson's sense of parallel universe style dualism is a way of him writing his own story-book, brim-full of obsessions, psychological detritus and a craving to connect in a meticulously tragi-comic construction that is the most revealing hint at what makes Kitson tick to date." Full Review
for a previous production "It’s a very impressive feat of acting, reminiscent of Charlie Chaplin feeding himself through the cogs of a machine in the film 'Modern Times.' Clearly Kitson is a man who loves and possibly needs such systems around him…There's a fair bit of yawning around the audience as the play trundles towards a pay-off that unfortunately isn’t quite as clever as the set-up, and the piece could do with an edit. However, it's bold, ambitious and memorable for the most part." Full Review
See it if you appreciate a great ranconteur like Daniel Kitson whose shows are always intelligent, engaging, unique and fun with interesting twists.
Don't see it if you have a short attention span or can't be quiet and attentive without your phone.
See it if you enjoy intelligent, clever, humorous storytelling. Daniel Kitson is a master of his craft.
Don't see it if you do not like one-person shows. But this is clever enough to be a two-person show.
See it if You want to see one of the best (if not THE best) monologists working today.
Don't see it if You do not have patience for intellectual, circumlocutory, protracted monologues on the meaning of life and love.
See it if You love the magic that a gifted actor can spin on stage. You can follow a spun story line and don't need a traditional narrative.
Don't see it if You like traditional, 3-act shows. You don't like a one-man band.
See it if you like humorous pieces that are interestingly staged and expertly crafted.
Don't see it if ...there is no reason to not see this work. This is an excellently created piece by a master at what he does. Well done, sir!
See it if you're a fan of Kitson (or want to be), masterful storytelling, coincidences, unexpected emotionalism, loveliness, excellent comic touches.
Don't see it if you have a short attention span, difficulty with flashing lights, or enough trouble hearing that a British accent will be frustrating.
See it if You want to be drawn into level upon level of a writer's conversation with a mysterious stranger. I'm still thinking about it.
Don't see it if You don't enjoy solo performances.
See it if you have not seen (or if you have) seen Daniel Kitson before. Master storyteller...
Don't see it if do not like monologues; if you can't stay 15 min without looking at your mobile, this is not for you.
See it if You like verbal artistry You like talky/thinky British humor You like monologues You like introspection
Don't see it if You're easily bored by monologues You want a spectacle, visual wizardry You have trouble with English accents
See it if a poignant puzzle-box play about connection and magical thinking. Witty, fine-tuned, introspective and funny.
Don't see it if the first thirty minutes are a little disorienting and digressive, but if you're patient, the play comes together like a magic trick.
See it if You're willing to be patient and trust the monologist to take you through a story with a lot of apparent digressions. It's rather funny.
Don't see it if You're looking for something linear and propulsive, because you'll get bored easily. Think of it as storytime.
See it if You enjoy introspective solo shows, and like an intellectually challenging story. Well-staged, with constant believable action.
Don't see it if You don't want to think about the show, or don't enjoy solo shows.
See it if you're interested in observing another living being in a series of tangles; if you don't expect a formula for performance.
Don't see it if you need things programmed and pretty; you get impatient; you are judgmental of people's weaknesses
See it if you want to bask in the genius of one of the most important living writers; his works are among the most meaningful theater works I've seen.
Don't see it if you don't feast on a steady diet of life's ironies, hate wordplay, and dread theatrical riddles...
See it if you are willing to be challenged by your idea of theater and to be drawn into an alternative and highly individual world.
Don't see it if you will be frustrated missing some of the dialogue because of his accent and delivery or if you need a coherent plot or story.
See it if you enjoy great storytelling. Kitson is very engaging and funny. Utterly delightful yarn told masterfully.
Don't see it if you don't enjoy one man shows or are confused by a couple stories going at once.
See it if you like innovative shows that make you think. This contemplates the intersection of art and solitude. Unlike anything I'd seen before.
Don't see it if you want an ending that's as rewarding as the concept of the show itself or if you don't enjoy one man shows.
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