Here Lies Henry

Nicole Eckersley

This epic monologue veers like a Mad Mouse between endearing, witty, existential, awkward, hilarious, insightful and more, often simultaneously.
Here Lies Henry

Henry Tom Gallery (“Yes, Gallery, like ‘gallery.’’) is here to tell us something we don’t already know.

As Henry (Matthew Hyde) stutters his way through his life story – or maybe not his life story, because he’s a self-admitted liar – we become more and more wrapped up in who Henry is, why he’s here, what canapés of insight and amusement he has to offer, and who he’ll turn into next.

Daniel MacIvor’s Here Lies Henry is an epic monologue, veering like a Mad Mouse between endearing, witty, existential, awkward, hilarious, black, insightful, and, more often than not, several of the above simultaneously. Building reveal upon reveal and then occasionally whisking them back again like a mean older cousin at Christmas, Henry’s most definite statements turn out to be irrelevant and his most casual turn out to be key. He builds from a stuttering rictus of nerves to million-miles-an-hour witty repartee to intense, black humour and then back to nerves again. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll laughcry.

Hyde plays Henry as a sort of cross between Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Rik Mayall, a nightclub twink, and a bunny on the M25, magnificently sustaining the work’s energy for a mind-boggling 70 minutes, nailing every complex direction and slalom run of razor-sharp scripting, keeping the jokes flying and the audience giggling through the blackest moments and generally acting his trousers off. Right off.

Directed by Jason Langley, this production of Here Lies Henry has been neatly and humorously adapted from the 1995Canadian original to fit an Australian audience and Hyde’s English background. A special mention also to whoever was responsible for the reverb work on Hyde’s voice – maybe sound designer James Luscombe, but probably Issy Stadler, who was operating sound and vision – it’s not often that a bit of sound design is so nifty that the audience is left wondering how the hell they did that.

Here Lies Henry is a delightfully personal story of one man’s disintegration, or maybe not. It is, in the words of MacIvor, ‘an idyllic sort of miserable sort of nightmarish sort of storybook sort of regular sort of a story,’ and it is definitely worth hauling your derrière to Theatre Works for.

Rating: 4 stars out of 5

TurnAround Productions present
Here Lies Henry
Performed by Matthew Hyde
Directed by Jason Langley
Produced by Paul Whiteley
Assistant Producer: Maria Lawrie
Assistant Director: Ben Giraud
Production/Stage Manager: Issy Stadler
Sound Designer: James Luscombe
Lighting Designer: Blake Garner
Projection Designer: Rodney Apps

Theatre Works, St Kilda

22 – 27 January

 

Midsumma Festival

www.midsumma.org.au
13 January – 3 February

About the author

Nicole Eckersley is a Melbourne based writer, editor and reviewer.