One Man Breaking Bad @ The Crucible
After rave reviews during its stint at Edinburgh Fringe Festival, American comedian Miles Allen is taking his ‘One Man Breaking Bad’ parody all over the UK.
With just one night in Sheffield, the Crucible is relatively packed, and you can’t ignore the sense of excitement amongst the audience. The different audience members prove that Breaking Bad appeals to so many, whether you’re young, old, male or female. Personally, I had no idea what to expect. Can you really condense the whole six seasons of Breaking Bad (which became both an addiction and priority to many), into just 90 minutes?
Well apparently, you can. Miles Allen bursts on stage in the yellow hazmat meth-making suit, in the character of one of the shows best-loved heroes; Jesse Pinkman. Allen plays Jesse as the narrator throughout the show, but it is far from his best impression. Although impressive, Allen’s ability to comically capture the essence of each character is truly admirable. Even without the costume additions, you could clearly identify each character he was playing. And lordy, there were a lot of characters. His most impressive, by far, was his interpretation of Walt Jr, a character with cerebral palsy. Before the show, on the subject of whether the interpretation of could be offensive, Allen told Exposed; “My argument on that is that to not impersonate Walt Jr just because he’s a character with cerebral palsy and not treat him like any other character would be a greater act of discrimination.” Allen absolutely nails the character, as we don’t even laugh nervously; rather whole-heartedly.
One Man Breaking Bad flies through the seasons, with wise-cracks coming at a rapid rate of fire. Allen’s joy and enthusiasm really come through, and the audience certainly catch on. The majority of jokes work well, however some fall-flat due to a few flaws in comedic timing and outdated references. Similar style show, ‘One Man Lord of the Rings’ uses no props or outfit changes, and this is something that could really lend itself to ‘One Man Breaking Bad’. With his skilled impersonations, the props were really not necessary in distinguishing between characters. Instead they made some parts feel frantic and busy.
The show could certainly benefit from being cut to just 60 minutes. This way, the interval could be omitted, which did take away from the pace of the performance. There was also some audience interaction, replicating the famous ‘pizza on the roof’ scene, which felt a bit farcical and unnecessary.
Credit where credits due, the show is a must-see for any Breaking Bad fan. Miles Allen’s impressions are phenomenal, and it’s to no surprise that the show has been so successful. With other excellent impressions under his belt outside of the Breaking Bad repertoire, it’ll be interesting to see what Miles Allen does next.