top of page

Out There On Fried Meat Ridge Rd.


Out There On Fried Meat Ridge Rd., Trafalgar Studios 2, London

“If there is one play to see this month - it is this one”

Out There On Fried Meat Ridge Rd is not one of the most accessible and catchy titles for a play, but it more than makes up for the tongue-twister.

If there is one play to see this month - it is this one. A bittersweet comedy that dashes at a frenetic farcical pace, absolutely full of laugh-out-loud one-liners. I haven’t heard such laughter in years.

[Flip, Mitchell and JD]

The storyline is, on the outset, quite simple. Mitchell (played to wide-eyed comic precision by Robert Moloney) appears to bounce from disaster to disaster, his life falling apart. He has answered an ad for a flatmate and finds himself in a ramshackle West Virginian motel room with JD (a bear of a man played sublimely by Keith Stevenson - by the way, he wrote the play!). JD believes in peace and love, even though there seems to be little of it about. The meth-addict neighbour Marlene (taken on a rollercoaster ride of emotions by the excellent Melanie Gray) regularly bursts in, followed by her adulterous partner Tommy (Alex Ferns playing standard New Jersey-gangster #4, slightly cliched but enormous fun) and the perverted Motel’s Owner Flip (a little too-smoothly played by Michael Wade, not quite firing on the same number of cylinders as the rest).

[Mitchell and Marlene]

What can go wrong, does go wrong; all adding to Mitchell’s woes.

There is genuine feeling here, a warmth from the cast who obviously enjoy these bizarre characters - aided, no doubt, by the sounds of loud and regular audience laughter. The downtrodden motel room almost gets trashed throughout the unfolding chaos. Simon Scullion’s design is neat, messy and precise with some immaculate touches.

[Marlene and Tommy]

This play was first performed in California in 2012 and it has spawned two sequels: A Fried Meat Christmas and The Unfryable Meatness Of Being. On this showing, we deserve to see them all. Just as this show deserves another transfer (it came from the White Bear Theatre in Kennington) to another venue so it can run for a long time.

[JD - doubling up as the playwright]

Director Harry Burton needs hearty congratulations for bringing this play to the UK. I think it must be a struggle holding back the actors so the rhythms of the comedy have time to flow as it veers from zany US sitcom to standard British farce and back again. It’s a rough ride, which the majority of the time, is spot on - just the odd glitch and loss of focus, but the superb cast drag us back and off we go again… Lurching from bathos to high comedy, Out There On Fried Meat Ridge Rd shows there is beauty and tragedy within us all.


[Marlene, Mitchell and JD]

Venue Trafalgar Studios 2, Whitehall, London

Performances running until Saturday 3rd June 2017

Times Monday – Saturday 7.45pm

plus Thursday and Saturday matinees 3pm

Running time 70 minutes (no interval)

Twitter @TrafStudios, #FriedMeatRidge

Facebook @FriedMeatRidgeRdLondon

Writer Keith Stevenson

Director Harry Burton

Production Designer Simon Scullion

Producer Wildcard

Photography Gavin Watson

Tag Cloud
bottom of page