Review: ‘Lardo’ at the Old Red Lion Theatre
Metal Rabbit Productions is back at the Old Red Lion Theatre with the tale of a Scottish would-be wrestler trying to get a foot in the business
After getting his long-term girlfriend pregnant and causing a rift in the family, Lardo, played by Daniel Buckley, would do anything to join Tartan Wrestling Madness, the creme de la creme of the Scottish wrestling scene. After countless YouTube announcements and small gigs, he manages to join the big league under Nick Karimi, as the sweet-talking but frantic Stairs.
The whole stage becomes a literal wrestling ring for the rest of the play. Dim lights and loads of fog help create a grubby atmosphere. The viewers are not there to silently observe, but to be a rumbling and cheering wrestling audience. The Old Red Lion style of having a pint while watching fits in better here than on any other occasion.
Wrestling Director Henry Devas choreographed the manic fighting scenes that get you thinking this is what real wrestling must be like. In the end, you’re left to wonder how many bruises the actors took home and whether that was fake blood or not (it was, I checked).
Metal Rabbit itself describes Lardo – which was written by Mike Stone as his first full-length play – as “a big, bold look at the most ridiculous sport of our time”. It delivers on the promise, and does so with plenty of humour and prompt switches between staged fights and the character’s real life.
Lardo is at the Old Red Lion Theatre until March 28 and tickets go for £14 (£12.50 concession).