This play’s title, The Importance of Being Anxious shows the audience that they can expect humour to be bestowed upon them during this show. Hollywood Screenwriter, Hal Cantor writes and stars as the leading protagonist to this exploration into the life of an anxiety-fueled, bisexual man. 

This autobiographical telling from Cantor, tells his story as a Jewish man who came out later in life. The play takes us through a poignant journey of events that led him to discovering his current outlook on life. The Importance of Being Anxious began with an anxiety-filled voice note, before taking the audience through a powerpoint of life scenarios and first times. Cantor’s story leaves nothing to the imagination which at times felt detail heavy in both the visual aspects and in the dialogue. Although at times it worked, many technological elements distracted from the story more so than enhancing this one man performance. 

As a British person, many jokes did not land for me, as I didn’t understand the US references. And at times I felt as though I lost track of what was happening due to the spiralling storyline.

There is potential for moments to pick up the pace of the performance within his reflections. However, in this current version of the play, it is overshadowed by the sheer number of anecdotes that feel like too much in too little time. 

Cantor’s first confidence is not in acting but in writing, although I feel this was an important show for him to perform himself as the emotion is genuine, due to this being his story. With more clarity and less crudity, the sincerity of his self exploration would shine throughout. 

Overall, although The Importance of Being Anxious was at times difficult to follow or lacking clarity, Cantor’s performance was raw and real. The relationship between audience and performer developed through vulnerability and openness, which felt akin to a Ted Talk. This production, which is on as part of Camden Fringe, has a lot of potential, and we’d be excited to see how it develops in the future.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

{🎟 AD – PR invite – Tickets were gifted in exchange for an honest review}

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