Theatre review: Bud at the King’s Head Theatre
Nick Darke’s one-man play revived after more than 25 years in gripping production
If you have 50 minutes to kill one evening over the next couple of weeks, pop round to Bud’s Cornish farm kitchen in the King’s Head and fall under his spell as he tells you about sheep tagging, his love affair and marital problems with Myrna, undesirable posh, pheasant-shooting neighbours, and four-legged chickens.
This unusual, gripping one-man short play by the late Cornish writer Nick Darke was originally commissioned by the Royal Shakespeare Company. It’s last London outing was down the road at the Almeida in 1985.
Neil Sheffield is excellent as Bud, whose wife is the farm’s owner and also his boss. His rustic dialect charmingly conveys simple good humour and warmth, though Sheffield shows a scarier, more complex side when Bud’s blood boils.
He’s tormented by the “l’il acid drops scorchin’ holes in the starched napkin of our marriage”. He beats himself up with worries that other people believe his motives are less than noble. Did he marry Myrna, ten years older than him, because he loves her, or to get his hands on her farm?
You may also want to watch:
The psychological warfare and “battle of strength” aren’t just between Bud and others. They occur in his own mind and stem in part from his frustration with his flawed intuition.
Bud, then, is an interesting mini-play that packs a lot in, although the supposedly shocking revelation at the end didn’t come as much of a surprise. Oh, and four-legged chickens really do exist, and apparently lay eggs like a machine.
- 1 Revealed: Latest Covid-related death figures for Islington
- 2 Tollington by-election imminent as Richard Watts joins Khan's 'top team'
- 3 Six flee Finsbury Park house fire
- 4 Primary school allowed to keep floodlights despite complaints
- 5 Islington Council set to save Grade II-listed South Library from disrepair
- 6 'Risk of thunderstorms' in north London ahead of May 17 lockdown easing
- 7 Islington Council backtracks on promise to save mulberry tree
- 8 Obituary: 'Striking and beautiful' north London mother Mary Collins
- 9 Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall visits the Whittington Hospital
- 10 'Massive stabbing' in Old Street: Man attacked outside Moorfields Hospital
* Bud is at the King’s Head Theatre in Upper Street, N1, until July 8.