Clanger review: The Shy Manifesto

8 February 2019, at The Place Theatre, Bedford

Starring: Theo Ancient, Harry Potter star (Albus Potter in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child)

Review by Isma Begum (14)

Joe C. Brown and Anthony Hollis Productions have brought their tour of this monologue by Michael Ross, directed by Cat Robey to Bedford’s The Place Theatre. The solo play is performed by Theo Ancient (Harry Potter star) who plays the character Callum. 

The simple but effective set stood out and helped tell the monologue through the many different characters Ancient played. The audience were able to identify the intensity of the characters’ feelings through the use of balloons, music and the lighting effects. Props such as a petite bag, multi-coloured scarf, headphones, black sunglasses, small figurines including superheroes and soft toys were used to convey and illustrate each character’s personality. It was both imaginative and entertaining, as it really made each character stand out for me. 

This soliloquy analyses shyness in today’s society, where obsession over social media can lead to further social exclusion, due to peer pressure and the need to fit in. As a resultCallum actually questions his disposition. However shyness is also portrayed as a positive characteristic, where Callum gets lost in the world of books and reinforces shyness as a positive attribute. It celebrates shyness on a deeper level, in which the audience have an understanding and acceptance of who Callum is, as he is initially introduced as an enigma. 

Overall the emotional performance of this solo play leaves you wondering, whether Callum found his way in life. It reinforces the attitudes of shyness as new beginnings and is an exceptional performance. 


Editor of The Bedford Clanger, organiser behind BedPop, an events manager and a freelance copywriter


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