Following a sell-out, award-nominated run at London’s White Bear Theatre, Keith Stevenson’s cult-hit American comedy Out There On Fried Meat Ridge Rd. transfers to the West End’s Trafalgar Studios – the first-ever show to transfer the Studio 2 into an end-on space.
Things could not get any worse for Mitchell, who just lost his girlfriend, his apartment, and his job. With nowhere to go, he answers an ad for a roommate and finds himself in a West Virginia countryside motel with JD, an affable hillbilly of mysterious origins. Soon JD’s neighbours – curmudgeonly Flip, meth-head Marlene, and her hot-headed boyfriend Tommy – have all but taken over the tiny room. When the zany group find themselves in a hostage situation, Mitchell must decide to save himself or join this dysfunctional family and let his freak-flag fly.
Writer and actor Keith Stevenson, who originated the role of JD in Los Angeles and reprises the role in London, hails from Keyser in West Virginia – the hometown of the actual Fried Meat Ridge Road. He says: “It warms my heart that this little story set in Appalachia has received a universal response from people of all colours and creeds in places like London and Los Angeles. They come to the theatre and a little over an hour later they walk out feeling better than they did coming in. They’re buoyed by a fortified hope that goodness and kindness still have a shot.”
Out There On Fried Meat Ridge Rd. became a cult hit amongst fans following its six-month highly acclaimed run at the Pacific Resident Theatre in Los Angeles in 2012 – audience members returned again and again to watch the show. It re-opened later that year with the festive sequel A Fried Meat Christmas. Then, in the summer of 2014, Stevenson thrilled audiences yet again with the third part in the series, The Unfryable Meatness of Being. The three plays were revived in December 2014 and December 2015 as The Fried Meat Trilogy.
The London premiere production is directed by Harry Burton and also stars Robert Moloney, Alex Ferns, Michael Wade and Melanie Gray.
For the post-show Q&A, I’ll be joined by Keith Stevenson, director Harry Burton and other members of the company.