Midlife Crisis on Stage

A one-man-show about midlife crisis opened at Chapter Arts Centre in Cardiff last night. Writer and artist Dick Johns uses sombre stand-up comedy and storytelling to communicate the experiences of middle aged people.

The 49-year-old veteran actor has performed in The Office, My Hero and High Hopes. Having won the Writers and Artists Prize 2015 for his short story ‘Joy’, he decided to perform his own words for the first time.

During the show he read his work which contained themes of domestic violence, adolescent children, parenting, spousal quarrels, aging, and more. This is interspersed with comic anecdotes, audience interactions and musical performances. The songs included in the show were heavily inspired by the 70’s and the 80’s.

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Dick Johns ; Photo: Suryatapa Mukherjee

He said that he was not experiencing a crisis, and artists usually don’t. In his opinion, artists spend their life doing what they are passionate about, which leaves little room for regrets. He is more interested in exploring the perspective and experiences of someone older than 20’s and 30’s.

His flyer includes fake reviews like, “This is a shameless plea for attention from a spiritually bankrupt old man. Please ignore it, for your own sake and for his – Welsh Media”. Mr. Johns admitted that this might be a defensive attempt at showing that he does not care if he gets bad reviews.

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Dick Johns 80’s vinyl collection ; Photo: Suryatapa Mukherjee

Some of the viewers at the performance said they enjoyed how easily he bounced from the tragic and the comic, which is not an easy thing to do. Some others said they enjoyed how vulnerable he can be, and how the stories featured honest writing.

The show will be running for the rest of the week. For more information visit the facebook page.

Originally published on Cardiff News Plus: http://jomec.co.uk/cjsnewsmaij/news/what-midlife-crisis-a-tragic-and-comical-performance 

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