Team Viking review

After his triumphant appearance in Jonny Donahoe’s Every Brilliant thing last year, expectation for James Rowland’s return to the Corn Hall was high. Fortunately, his debut solo show proved to be worth the wait, showcasing once again his extraordinary ability to hold the attention of an audience with the simple power of storytelling.

Team Viking proved to be a funny, moving, sometimes absurd and always involving shaggy dog story about friendship, loss, and remembrance. Despite dealing with three deaths, and three very different funerals, it was fundamentally about life, and the spirit with which you live it, told by a hugely personable fellow, with a deceptively relaxed style that made the evening less of a performance and more of a chat. With a minimum of props and business, it was as if he was telling this for the first time, digressing, reliving the emotions, laughing at himself. It’s a clever trick, and artfully done, but the beautiful narrative arc he took us through should leave no doubt that this was a master class in skilled stage craft.

How exciting to see original writing of this calibre come to the Corn Hall, and how encouraging to discover there was an audience for it.