If you find awkward, bungling characters in preposterous situations funny, Dawn Again will have you roaring with laughter. Add to that a catchy rap in (very satisfying) rhyming verse that hilariously explores the situation from as many different perspectives as afforded by the absurdity of the story, and you just might find your jawlines aching from laughter. The bee did. (But as with all funny plays, the bee’s usual disclaimer applies: the bee’s sense of humour is bizarre and doesn’t usually agree with what everyone else thinks funny.)
Our man finds himself at the hospital about to become a father to two baby girls. Undoubtedly this would be a beautiful moment in any man’s life, if it weren’t for the fact that the two babies are coming from not one but two mothers who, unbeknownst to them, are giving birth to babies fathered by the same man on the same day, at the same hospital, at the same time. Talk about unenviable situations.
So our hapless protagonist pulls aside the lone nurse at the severely understaffed hospital who, as luck would have it, is seeing to both his girlfriends. He sits the nurse down and narrates (raps) his story to her, lest the dumbfounded woman express shock when she encounters him in more than one of her patients’ rooms. The nurse announces promptly that she is professional and intends to do her job, and can’t be bothered to be our helpless bloke’s secret-keeper, although she does agree to be discreet and close-lipped about the affair(s).
Traditionally a story like this would have the protagonist’s web of lies and deceit grow to an unsustainable level and implode, but this show turned out to be a little more unpredictable than that. Bewildering twists and turns kept the audience engaged and laughing continuously until the very end.
It is difficult for the bee to say much else without spoiling the show, but know that you will laugh, whether you tend to laugh at absurd characters, or absurd double-entendres, or this peculiar bizarre blend of rhyming poetry rapped to opera-ish music, or the sum total of all the gawky little secrets that make up the unmitigated disaster at the centre of this play. You see, the absurdity of the whole far exceeds the sum of the absurdities of the parts. The blithering protagonist in particular delivers an amazing, memorable performance. What fun.
Watched February 2023 at King’s Head Theatre, London.