Review: Rubber Ring @ The Lowry, Salford

Jimmy is sixteen and sexually confused. A teenager fed-up with the confines of small town life in Sheringham, he jumps on a train to London to see his idol Morrissey live on stage. Along the way he embarks on a truly heart-warming and spectacular journey of self-discovery.

An alluring tale of adolescent unpredictability, Rubber Ring is the debut play by Norfolk playwright James McDermott. It is a perfectly crafted one-man-show which wholly captures the true essence of ‘the Morrissey experience.’

Now showing at The Lowry in Salford, the fast-paced script sees Morrissey lyrics genially interwoven into dialogue in a way which truly demonstrates the impact the singer’s words had on a generation trying to discover themselves in a world that didn’t always allow for discovery.

Jimmy lives in a small seaside town where he struggles to come to terms with who he is and the way life works. He knows he’s different and he knows he needs to escape Sheringham to explore the big bold world.

When the teen finds out that Morrissey is playing a gig in the capital, nor hell or high water will stop him from seeing his idol live on stage.

Gripped by the idea, Jimmy hops on a train with nothing but a tenner in his pocket and 36% battery on his phone. Despite having doubts along the way, Jimmy makes it to the Big Smoke where he encounters people and experiences which ultimately change his life.   

ALLURING: The one-man show captures the essence of ‘the Morrissey experience’

Throughout his journey from Sheringham to London (and back again), Jimmy grapples with his feelings, littering poignant messages throughout the narrative.

McDermott is a truly captivating actor who speaks with true conviction and real sense of knowing. Lines like ‘I’m in a story, this is just a shit chapter’ allow the audience, regardless of sexuality or age, to relate to the character through experiences we’ve all struggled with.

McDermott does a compelling job of interchanging between varying roles, clearly distinguishing characters by changes in body language and tone of voice.

Witty, at times excruciatingly awkward, yet somehow charming and lovely, Rubber Ring is a combination of fine writing and acting, telling the all-to-important tale of a young man trying to find his place in the world.

*Rubber Ring is at The Lowry, Salford until Saturday, November 4. You can buy tickets HERE. 

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