Binge Fringe Magazine

REVIEW: Neil Frost: The Door, Prague Fringe 2024 ★★★☆☆

While nostalgia presents uniquely to everyone, the emotion itself is an important one. Join Neil Frost as he attempts to use the kitchen door from his grandparent’s house to recreate that feeling on stage in mime.

It’s an autobiographical piece and a tribute to his grandparents based around a large collection of photographs found under the stairs of their house, mostly photographs of Neil in front of that very same kitchen door. Unsurprisingly for someone in the arts, Neil loved wearing all manner of costumes as a child and now he recreates those costumes and reenacts parts of his childhood in front of that very same kitchen door.

The show speaks to a universal feeling of grieving the past as though it were a place one could go back to. Neil describes and recreates the hallway in front of the kitchen door in loving mime. It’s not a particularly unusual or exciting home, the kitchen door is plain white and there’s a scout trophy and a welsh doll on the shelf and some holiday mementos. It’s a normal home to an outsider, but to Neil it is teeming with memories.

As the photos cycle by, projected onto the kitchen door each time, Neil changes into matching costumes, recreating childhood scenes and sketches poking fun of the 80s and the strange disillusionment that comes with growing up. He gets the audience to join in, asking us to guess mimed objects or shout out answers to the scout leader.

Unfortunately for Neil, the audience was quite sparse on the day I came and he struggled to keep the energy going throughout the show. The show began a little slowly and it took some time to warm up, and when the energy was there then it was great but when it fell there were moments of awkwardness reminiscent of when a teacher asks a question to the class and a beat of silence falls over the classroom when no one wants to answer. I think this was not helped by some of the more involved costume changes, the worst offender being the Mickey Mouse costume that takes much too long to put on and only lasts a few seconds. I realise that these are homemade costumes, but I think this is a kill your darlings situation. When the energy is up Neil is a charming character and his love for his home is apparent in his mime and his sketches.

Tender, nostalgic and heartfelt – once the audience is on board then the train to the rose-tinted world of remembered childhood will be well on its way.

Recommended Drink: Hot chocolate with a shot of Baileys A comforting blend that evokes childhood warmth and adult complexity, much like Neil Frost’s nostalgic and heartfelt performance. Enjoy this drink to fully immerse yourself in the cozy, bittersweet memories the show evokes.

Catch A Year and a Day as part of Prague Fringe until June 1st. Tickets are available through the Prague Fringe Box Office.

Moss Meunier

Moss is a bit of a globetrotter and struggles to stay in one country for long. They first fell in love with fringe theatre in Prague in 2014 and first performed at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2018 as an improv comedian. They’re interested in a broad range of genres but are particularly excited by themes of neurodiversity and immigration. Their favourite drink is a foamy pint of Pilsner Urquell - it was their first beer and tastes of teenage freedom.

Festivals: EdFringe (2023), Prague Fringe (2024)
Pronouns: They/Them