HARVEY GREENFIELD IS RUNNING LATE
A play written by and starring Paul Richards.
A groundbreaking one-man piece of comedic theatre that asks a simple question: Is it possible to please everyone, all of the time? And at what cost to your family and health? In this fast and frenetic comedy, award-winning writer/performer Paul Richards explores our need to please, and why it's sometimes healthy to, every now and then, just sit in a shed and play Subbuteo by yourself, eating biscuits and listen to Meat Loaf.
The show ran at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2019 to critical acclaim, alongside performances at The Brighton Fringe, Reading Fringe, Barnstaple Theatrefest and Swindon Fringe. Full tour dates to be announced soon.
THE SCOTSMAN (4 STAR REVIEW, EDINBURGH FRINGE, AUGUST 2019)
Has the show started? Is everyone here? When’s the door going to be shut? These are the questions asked by a frantic man on stage who may or may not be in character.
Written and performed by Paul Richards, it follows the journey of an idiosyncratic 38-year-old man, Harvey Greenfield, as he becomes overwhelmed by other people’s demands on his time. It is, we are told, based on a true story – apart from one bit.
Like an alternative Ferris Bueller, rather than having a day off, Harvey is simply trying to get to work for a meeting, but keeps getting phone calls from his mum, girlfriend, the guy at the garage, the lawyer of a cyclist taking him to court, someone saying something about a funeral...
A self-described “strangely ugly Hugh Grant type”, his naivety and inability to cope in the modern world is simultaneously charming and horrifying. He gives money to every weird charity that asks, gets into the kind of scrapes Just William would be proud of, and has a relationship with a competent and beautiful girlfriend that shouldn’t work, but somehow does.
The escalating web of chaos is skilfully scripted in the vein of a classic film comedy, while detours into Harvey’s childhood chart his development from a painfully nervous teenager to someone who is almost able to function.
This is a transformation of Hollywood proportions but, as the pressure builds and Harvey’s mind starts to melt, the piece highlights the more serious consequences of taking on too much to a point where it impacts on your mental health. “Which bit’s not true?” an audience member asks after the show’s finished, as two others wipe away tears. “The ending, obviously,” says Paul, or Harvey – which presumably means everything else is, and it’s sadly all too recognisable.
SALLY STOTT ****
THE SWINDONIAN (SWINDON FRINGE REVIEW, APRIL 2019)
Harvey Greenfield is Running Late. Literally running. Almost without rest. And late for everything. He’s a man who can’t say no and he’s in a number of terrible fixes as a result.
After last years’ “Short Plays about Marvellous People” Paul Richards returned to the Swindon Fringe with his new one-man show. The very first public performance, no less. And, just like last year, Richards seems to have comic energy to burn. He makes Lee Evans seems narcoleptic by comparison.
And he uses up every last iota of that energy in a show that features him running on the spot for the best part of 50 minutes interrupted only by the occasional spot of table football. Throughout he interacts with a soundtrack of music and voice-overs as the people in his life pull him in every direction at once. The result is mostly laugh-out-loud, but punctuated with sorrow. Harvey Greenfield is a man who tries to please everyone and, as a result, pleases no-one. Least of all himself.
It can only end badly. But that doesn’t stop it hurting when it does.
Ingeniously written and powerfully performed.
FROM THE EDINBURGH FRINGE SITE (EDFRINGE.COM - 2019)
This was a great show! 3 of us loved it!
Paul, as Harvey, gave a funny, quick-paced and absorbing performance - anxious, stressed, easily led and genuinely funny, he deserves to be sold out!
A fantastic one-man show about the perils of wanting to please everyone. It really hit home at times, and I was surprised at how many different emotions I felt during a one man show. Excellent acting and storytelling. A must-see.
Excellent! Clever, creative and exhausting to watch! Highly recommended.
Super performance which made me stand back and put life into perspective. Perhaps we are all guilty of the need to please others, but should we? Breathe and take time for ourselves every now and again, this may be beneficial. Well done, high recommended.
Funny, poignant and very moving.
FROM BARNSTAPLE THEATREFEST (2019)
Amazing! And shocking!!
Excellent. Draws you in from the start. Laugh out loud!
Frantic, funny, anxiety inducing and very enjoyable.
So energetic & thought-provoking.
Funny, poignant, unbelievably energetic ( I was knackered just watching you!) loved it.
Another fantastic, manic show with underling important message. Great to see Paul back.