Certified Male Reviews
UNITED KINGDOM - 2007
"Rattling good entertainment. I defy any modern man not to recognise moments of madness of their own here, and I dare say that most women will end up rather more sympathetic to their men-folk by the end as well.
This is all done with wit and vigor and there are more than a few home truths thrown in. Skillfully realised on a bare stage by the excellent cast of four."
THE TIMES (4 stars)
"Certified Male digs deep into the wounded recesses of the modern male psyche, but it does so with the lightest of touches....this taut 90-minute entertainment speaks up for the millions of chaps who aren't coping particularly well with the brave new world of long hours, constant job insecurity and the complicated rules of the dating and mating game. Self-pity though, is not the order of the hour - joshing good humour is. What will happen to this show is anyone's guess... this might go down a therapeutic treat in the West End"
DAILY TELEGRAPH (4 stars)
“You know you are in safe hands when even the pre-show announcement is funny. Certified Male is a touching, insightful, clever theatrical construct examining the role of men today…over 90 hugely entertaining minutes… marries surrealism, poignant monologues, an intriguing narrative, physical comedy, dramatic scenes and live music….combines an intellectual, analytical intelligence with an open heart… then entire production is underpinned with smart incidental music…it is a joy to see theatre and its’ conventions so skillfully played with; I already want to see it again.”
THE SCOTSMAN (5 stars)
SCANDINAVIA – 2011
”Clever straight through....Johan Ulveson…shines with his physical comic art.
The scene where Göran rescues Max from death by drowning is a wonderful pantomime that deserves a dozen swimming prices….brilliantly performed… the dialog is fast and funny.
With sound effects and choreography they have built up a fantasy world which is totally believable. Everything is tight, good looking and well done.
Certified Male has a wonderful ensemble. The set design is simple but incredibly effective.. a funny comedy with a message. A pretty sad story, but told with a great sense of humour and a lot of warmth and respect.”
RECENSIONER – STOCKHOLM 2011
“This is a play that not only is extremely funny but touching as well. Every night we have sobbing ladies, smiling thru their tears. All the shows have been next to sold out or between 85 and 100% of the tickets sold. Certified Male is the biggest hit in Icelandic theatre this fall. We have been in second place in the on line ticket sales system here in Iceland coming only behind The Wizard of Oz. That is changing and we are now in first place and have been there for three days.”
GUNNAR HELGASSON - ICELAND
“…you screamed with laughter the whole time…”
DJOFLAEYJAN (a cultural talk-show on TV, RÚV.)
“…the performance was great with five star acting…”
FRETTABLADID (4 stars) Iceland´s biggest daily newspaper
“…highly professional…great story with great message…it was funny the whole time…the actors were fantastic…”
FRETTATIMINN (5 stars) Iceland´s biggest weekend newspaper
AUSTRALIA 2000 - 2003
“A genuinely funny. often hilarious, momentarily touching night at the theatre….Nicholas and his co-writer Scott Rankin's skilful blend of play, knockabout blokiness, mime and songs is a perfect platform for a piece about the business of being men. It's a pleasure to see such exceptional comedic acting in a well-crafted, stylish production.”
THE AGE 2000
“CERTIFIED MALE has developed into a classy, commercial blockbuster ready to take-on Broadway and the West End….the ideal education tool for women to understand men and men to understand themselves.”
SUNDAY HERALD SUN 2000
“The comedy is brilliant; not just the gags, which we expect from this team…there are no props, and they mime everything from sitting on bar stools to deep-sea marlin fishing to playing golf. It's an incisive but sympathetic look at the corporate world, so even a feminist can't really despise these guys. Underneath all the macho bravado, they're real people and you have to love them….Certified Male? Make that Certified Human.”
"... extraordinary skill to move you to paralytic laughter one instant and tears the next."
THE WEST AUSTRALIAN 2001
"Hilarious…should be on your must-see list. Nothing can match it for physical comedy, songs, and psychological insights…brutally frank and seriously funny."
THE AGE 2003
“This is an utterly brilliant show chock full of talent, insight, songs, mountains of humour, mime and even tender moments to put it all in perspective. Rarely does one show encompass all this and the added bonus of an unforgettable underwater scene. The cast is pure dynamite, the script is both intelligent and incredibly funny and the music is fabulous. What more could you ask for in a play?
With such a diverse range of characters, you will surely find a bit of yourself, your husband or your boyfriend in there somewhere. A friend of mine kept jabbing her fiancé and whispering "that’s you!"
Certified Male serves up a sumptuous feast of laughs and shrewd observations. The baffling world of men is exposed in all its glory, warts and all. This play is for anyone who has ever known a man or who is a man. If you fit into these two small categories, then you simply cannot miss one of the funniest shows to hit Brisbane in a long time. Certified Male is comedy at its very best.”
SCENE MAGAZINE 13/6/01
“CERTIFIED MALE is still a galloping comedy show. …..achingly funny….mixes witty, sometimes moving monologues, with hilarious physical comedy, and entertaining songs….the two and a half hours zip by.”
HERALD SUN 2003
“Less than five minutes into this seriously funny show you will know it’s well oiled and sooo smooth. And so it should be. It was the hit of the Melbourne Festival year before last and it’s had massive exposure since then, both here and abroad.
The secret of this direct and frank yet riotously comic show is that it looks deep into the souls of four men vastly different men, shows us their faults and weaknesses in terms of a comic script by an expert in the field, and serves it up using some of the cleverest miming seen here for years…. theatrical genius abounds“
THE MERCURY, 2001
“ … it works beautifully … classy … beautifully drawn (and hilarious) moments of unreconstructed masculinity … it’s probably fair to say that blokes don’t often get dissected with this level of empathy and comic detail.”
THE SYDNEY MORNING HERALD
“… intelligent and very funny... it's all here, the appalling litany of what men get up to when they're alone together... a dynamic cast... and everyone gets to laugh”
THE SUN HERALD TIMEOUT
“ It is one of the brightest, funniest, and cleverest pieces in town ... riotously funny” AUSTRALIAN JEWISH NEWS
"The hilarious send up of how men think This is a very likeable show, incorporating slapstick, songs and physical theatre in a hugely demanding set for this very able cast….all come superbly up to the mark, bringing charisma, impressive physical precision and an awe-inspiring energy to their roles….. will have guys in stitches and is a must-see for women everywhere.” The cheerful Saturday night audience loved it; the packed auditorium practically rocking with laughter”
“Men like to laugh, men like to laugh at other men, but do men like to laugh at men who are laughing back? Certainly with the new production of Certified Male it would seem so. I'm sure at least some of the audience took their seats with a certain defensive attitude, be they male or female, but any qualms they may have had quickly waned as the witty, thoughtful dialogue flowed out and the hilarious physical comedy did more than a set could ever do.
For the Irish run, Irish actors and references are being used. The adaptation is nigh on unnoticeable - both a compliment to the production team and perhaps an indication of the similarity of male problems around the world. The smooth use of physical comedy, mime and asides to the audience are only slightly disturbed by the occasional self-referential sketch. Live musical accompaniment is provided by a piano and cello, both used to good effect both for the songs and atmospherics.
Certified Male is an entertaining, thoughtful play well worth seeing for the lessons and the laughs - you'll even have a catchy tune to hum as you leave the theatre.”
“Now here's a pick-me-up for the jaded theatrical palate. Certified Male is a crash course in performance styles. It is not enough that this sterling male quartet has to act, sing and dance. They also have to mime up a storm.
It's the physicality of this work, fused with clever writing that is the clincher. This Australian theatre piece, which breaks all the rules on form and structure, has been transposed beautifully to an Irish situation.”
SOUTH AFRICA 2001
“This show is an unexpected treat. Australian playwrights Scott Rankin and Glynn Nicholas have written a savagely funny and bitterly philosophic drama about learning to accept life, not as a series of random events, but as a path of awakening.
This is a defiant fireworks display of mimed comedy performed by a team of technical experts indulging in deceptively tricky business. The depth of their character interpretation is individually reinforced in song. The four men finally grab you by the heart when they are set to discover a secret that women have always known: that the easiest way to feel loved and needed and to walk 10 feet tall is to get involved.”
MARY JORDON, DEC 2001
“….a glorious comedy about men and their miseries in an era when they are uncertain of their role and their status, both at work and at home, in an increasingly feminist and politically correct world. The often raucous (and even slapstick) humour in Certified Male conceals a deeper, almost spiritual core – it's a show that demands to be seen for its complex yet satisfying blend of theatrical ingredients…. the comic and musical moments enhance the compelling nature of the drama, when it hits us slap-bang in the face.”
THE CITIZEN, 2001
“An hilarious and moving study of men’ s hopes and fears… the dialogue sparkles with wit…. simply superb.” NEW ZEALAND HERALD