Review: We’ve Got Each Other, VAULT Festival

A one-man Bon Jovi musical in the mind…Paul O’Donnell’s We’ve Got Each Other has no right to be as funny as this, a highlight of the VAULT Festival so far

“Well that was fun
And that’s all it needs to be”

When Paul O’Donnell grows up, I’m pretty sure he’ll age into The Drowsy Chaperone’s Man in Chair, And now I’ve got my niche musical reference out of the way, we can turn to the plethora of injokes and satirical jabs that are scattered throughout his inspired one-man all singing, all dancing Bon Jovi musical spectacular We’ve Got Each Other

Well it would be a spectacle, except he hasn’t quite got the budget to mount the whole thing. So he’s talking us through it, asking us to use the power of our imagination to fill in the gaps as he narrates the story to us under the glow of an IKEA floorlamp (cos he can’t afford a follow-spot…). It’s a ridiculously, almost criminally simple set-up, but one which pays huge dividends in its generosity of spirit and in O’Donnell’s pitch-perfect delivery.

His dry deadpan approach calls to mind something of the undiminished brilliance of Caroline Aherne, full of an affectionate kind of sarcasm which is pointed nonetheless. And as he skips through the story of his musical, it’s impossible not to get swept up in his increasing enthusiasm, it’s one for the theatre nerd in all of us.

And in a post-Bat out of Hell world, there’s something hilarious about how easily you can envision Paul’s show as it whisks us from Torremolinos to East Manhattan with dockers, dry ice, druids and no small amount of dancing. You’ll never hear ‘Livin’ on a Prayer’ the same way again and on this evidence, you wouldn’t even want to – hugely recommended.

Running time: 60 minutes (without interval)
Photos: Alex Brenner
We’ve Got Each Other is booking at the VAULT Festival until 10th February

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