Written by Ron Aldridge
Directed by Simon Downing
The Man - Giles Shenton
24 Feb 2017 Phoenix Theatre, Bordon, Hants
25 Feb 2017 Phoenix Theatre, Bordon, Hants
4 Mar 2017 Fisher Theatre, Bungay, Suffolk
22 Apr 2017 Nomad Theatre, East Horsley, Surrey
21 Sept 2017 Stables Theatre, Great Comp, Kent
23 Sept 2017 Brighton Open Air Theatre, Brighton
21 Oct 2017 Vera Fletcher Hall, Thames Ditton, Surrey
10 Nov 2017 Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford, Surrey
5 May 2018 Cygnet Theatre, Exeter, Devon
11 May 2018 Manor Pavilion Theatre, Sidmouth
26 May 2018 Barn Theatre, Smallhythe Place, Kent
1 June 2018 Players Theatre, Thame, Oxon
7 June 2018 Stables Theatre, Great Comp, Kent
14 June 2018 Leatherhead Theatre, Surrey
25 Apr 2019 Southwold Arts Centre, Suffolk
26 Apr 2019 Wingfield Barns, Suffolk
5 May 2019 Glastonbury Abbey, Somerset
9 May 2019 OSO Arts Centre, Barnes Green, London
23 May 2019 Middlesbrough Theatre, North Yorkshire
27 June 2019 South Hill Park Arts Centre, Bracknell
..." It's the toughest, you know, stand- up comedy"...reaction to our hero, a furniture salesman, who takes the brave leap into stand- up. It is, too, but this intriguing play is so much more. "Here we go again", might be your reaction to the first half...but stay and you will be well rewarded. Giles Shenton's virtuoso performance tugs at our heartstrings, through all layers of pathos, as much as any Paganini... or Nigel Kennedy. An amazing performance in a very clever play... Giles is making quite a reputation for himself in "one-handers", following the very successful "Old Herbaceous", which he also continues to tour.
This production of "My Dog's Got No Nose"', playing at the Nomad Theatre, East Horsley last weekend, directed by Simon Downing and produced by Andrew Brewis, is a very different kettle of fish...As with football, this is certainly " a game of two halves". The first half is perhaps not for the easily offended...there's a bit of swearing and sexual reference, of the more salacious kind...just what you might expect from "stand-up" itself! Buckle up, though, after the interval...our hero shows the courage and suffering involved in love and the whole atmosphere changes dramatically, playing on the human empathy of the audience. We are privileged to share in a moving expose of a testing and, in a way, very lovely gamut of human emotion.
Giles Shenton gifts us with another tour de force...catch it while you can!
I laughed until I cried does not quite describe my reaction to Ron Aldridge’s one-man play, My Dog’s Got No Nose, but a mixture of emotions and some shock revelations over nearly two hours of its performance time do make it a compelling watch.
The theatre alone is a little treasure which should be helped and encouraged to put on even more quality productions. And, yes, My Dog’s Got No Nose, which only played for two nights last week, did have great value in the hands of versatile actor Giles Shenton and under the direction of Simon Downing.
Giles and Simon have been around the drama scene for some years, both as actors and directors, and they certainly know their stuff. Last year’s excellent production of Old Herbaceous is still going the rounds to great acclaim and again underlines the exceptional talent of these two men.
Why anybody should want to be a stand-up comedian is beyond the comprehension of most people who would regard it as being thrown into the lion’s den, even our man can’t quite understand why he is putting himself through such an ordeal now that the moment has come after 30 years of waiting for such an opportunity. While he tries to control his nerves before going on stage for the first time he chats to the audience to tell them candidly of his somewhat unsatisfactory love life prior to and after marriage, his job as a furniture salesman and his enduring passion for his sister-in-law, confiding that he is an upper thigh man rather than other parts of the female anatomy.
He fretted and fidgeted, constantly checked his makeup and sweated profusely (and Shenton really did) for what seemed like an undue length of time until he finally made it onto the stage. His costume might have been bright and new and his trainers twinkling nicely but his act wasn’t and the mainly sexist jokes were tired and worn. All a bit tedious you might think, but then this is a cleverly constructed piece of theatre and the humdrum bathos of the first act is needed to catapult an audience into the unexpected drama of the second half when our genial character (he has no name) shows a different side to his character.
Giles Shenton held his audience’s attention for nearly two hours; their interest or curiosity in the first half and then to have them fully engrossed in the second before a shocked silence when you could hear a pin drop in the auditorium.
What a pity there wasn’t a larger audience on Friday evening to appreciate an actor who can craft his performance to cover such a dramatic range and has the stamina for a solo performance which incorporates both comedy and tragedy.
This production of My Dog’s Got No Nose tours around during this year and will be at The Nomad Theatre in East Horsley on March 22. Old Herbaceous will be at the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre in Guildford on May 20 – both well worth an evening at the theatre.
Being billed as a comedy, and the title it has, understates what is a wonderful piece of theatre.
Yes, there is comedy in the first half of this play by Ron Aldridge as a would-be stand-up comedian prepares for his first show – practising, agonising, self-doubting as he awaits his cue to go on.
And we learn of his unsatisfactory marriage to Judith, and her sister’s mundane marriage to husband Roger.
But this one-man performance, brilliantly put over by Giles Shenton, is so much more than that as it all evolves in the second half. It is a story full of feelings, the whole gamut of emotions, frustration, anger, pathos and tragedy. It absorbs the audience fully as it moves to its dramatic conclusion, and puts one in mind of Alan Bennett’s Talking Heads television plays of a few years ago. It is the tears of a clown – exploring one man’s personal life usually hidden by the make-up and the buzz of entertaining an audience.
Saturday’s visit to the Fisher was only its third showing so far. The audience was privileged to be entertained, and have its emotions thoroughly massaged, by such a thought provoking and high quality production.
"Saw My Dog’s Got No Nose yesterday at the Stables Theatre, Great Comp. Can't tell you what an impression Giles Shenton had on my husband and myself. From thinking we had a not very good stand up, to one of the best acted and produced shows we have seen in a long time is an understatement. Please thank Giles on our behalf. He was brilliant and we look forward to seeing him in more shows."