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Rapid White: Hollywood Ending

Rapid White: Hollywood Ending
Nov 30th 2012 | Dave Drayton
CJ Johnson's Hollywood Ending or How A Washed Up Director Made A Crappy Movie That Almost Destroyed The World went from inception to the stage at SBW Stables in eight weeks; that's four weeks of writing, two weeks of rehearsal, rewrites and about a fortnight with a finished script before it came to be. The timeframe is ambitious and requires a hell of a cast, sharp directing and an attention-grabbing story to work. Thankfully, Hollywood Ending possesses all three.

Start with the story; an ever-shrinking budget for a film that has a deadline creeping closer and closer. On top of that there's family drama, (not so) hidden political agendas and a plot that allows movie titles like Para-Anal Activity 2, Glad-He-Ate-Her and Porn Raider to be bandied about.

Then there are the characters: Terry Serio dialling up the sleaze he showcased recently in Belvoir's BStreet soap opera, appearing here as Don, a washed-up porn director trying to make his mark as a legitimate filmmaker while simultaneously trying to earn his daughter's respect; a wonderfully camp Tony Llewellyn-Jones, a relic from Don's porn-making days with plenty of sass; and the car-wreck-can't-look-away dynamic of the 'brains' behind the operation, Amy (Briallen Clarke), a deceptively cute and conniving alpha to the overly-excitable, juvenile and barely bearable Randy (played too well by Blake Erickson). Caroline Craig seems a little under-used as Don's daughter, but she brings a sceptical energy that charges the father/daughter subplot.

There's a lot of comedy – and some high stakes – crammed into 80-minutes, and while some punch lines don't quite land and the rapid transitions occasionally jolt, Tim Roseman's no-holds-barred direction allows this snappy no-frills comedy to shine.

SBW Stables to Sunday 15 December

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