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Cabin Fever
Gilded Balloon Productions

Written by: JIM SWEENEY

A life on the ocean wave for a career on the rocks. Come in Billy Meriwether, your time has run out..

A one man show for two people starring Stephen Frost ( Twelve Angry Men / Sick Transit). Written by Jim Sweeney (My MS and Me/Danny’s Wake/Sick Transit).

'..cast is led by the powerful performance of Stephen Frost as Juror 3 - a towering bully of a man'.
The West Australian

'His writing is witty, laconic and touching'. Scotsman on Jim Sweeney

Download Jim's original script here
Cabin Fever - eBook format

  Wonderful characterization  24 Aug 2006
reviewer: Sean Davis, USA

A veteran shipboard emcee/comedian tries to get his new boss to appreciate his talent. The comedian provides a wonderful characterization of life among shipboard entertainers. It is worth seeing this show just for the section where he creates the first five minutes of a show, including commentary about what is happening in the audience. This ranks 16th of the 128 shows I have seen so far. Rankings and similarly short reviews of all the shows I have seen can be found at http://www.cal.net/~ssdavis
  Great performances, great writing 17 Aug 2006
reviewer: James , UK

An excellent performance from Stephen Frost and a well written and directed performance. The other (sadly uncredited) actor does a good job with a difficult supporting role. Stephen Frost is an excellent actor and there was plenty of energy in this show. As usual, the script is full of great asides and jokes as would be expected from a writer of Jim Sweeney's calibre. This show is definitely well worth a visit.
  Strong Performance With A Good Twist 15 Aug 2006
reviewer: Sarah Beamish, United Kingdom

This two-man one-man show requires a strong and emotional actor to do it justice, and Steven Frost certainly steps up to the role well. You really feel for the ship's resident stand-up guy, being swept aside to be replaced by new and more attractive ship entertainment, aka Cirque Fantastique. It makes the twist at the end all the more satisfying yet creepy...
  Thoughtful and Funny 14 Aug 2006
reviewer: Jonathan C, United Kingdom

A great story about a stand up comic trying to hold on to his piece of show business. Stephen Frost captures the characture and is convincingly angry. His co-star matches him well. Sweeney's script spins a story that grabs and tickles.
  Strong Performance 7 Aug 2006
reviewer: ROC, Scotland

Steven Frost was excellent in this show. The show was great with good humour well worth going to see.
  Another great performance from Stephen Frost 6 Aug 2006
reviewer: Steve Thomson, Scotland

I have seen Stephen Frost perform many times over the past few years and he is fantastic every time. This play only contains 2 people and is mainly just Stephen Frost doing the talking, and it is compelling, funny and you can totally believe the situation that he finds himself in. It is a good parody of the way that the entertainment is going (reality TV etc). As mentioned, Stephen Frost was excellent!
  All at sea 15 Aug 2006
reviewer: STM, Scotland

A good play from Jim Sweeney. Steven Frost is great as the washed up old cruise ship perfomer (no he's not in drag playing Jane MacDonald!). This play makes a good dig at reality TV and the other "entertainment" that is selected by those who think they know what their target audience want to or should watch.
Cabin Fever

This play is written by the comedian Jim Sweeney it is the fourth play of his to be presented at the Gilded Balloon since 1999. The others were ‘Danny’s Wake’, ‘Sick Transit’ and ‘My MS and Me’, either Geoff or myself have seen all three. Working with Stephen Frost for years the two performers know each other well and I feel this comes out in the writing.

I have watched Stephen Frost over the years perform mainly in comedy and on TV. I also saw him in the production in the Assembly Rooms, 2003 as part of the phenomenal ’12 Angry Men’ cast. ‘Cabin Fever’ could almost be a snapshot of him in another life.

Billed as a one-man show for two people, we see Billy Merriweather in his cabin onboard a recently refurbished luxury cruise liner. In a wheelchair he has a man in uniform taped down with gaffartape. As the show proceeds we find out that after 25 years as a comic for the same cruise liner he is being pensioned off! ‘Alternative Comedy’ and ‘Reality Shows’ have taken over.

Frosts portrayal of the character is such that without knowing him so well I would almost think he was not acting at all. The entertainment officer’s (I am trying to get his name) fear of Merriweather for me wasn’t quite believable although in the final scene of the play a possible reason for this developed. The twist in the show slowly dawned on me at the start of the third and final scene with almost a grone.

Cleverly written and superbly performed it is well worth trying to see this production.


Edinburgh Evening News

Cabin Fever ****

Martin Lenon

STEPHEN FROST is a weird old guy with mad eyebrows. It says so in the witty and extremely intelligent script for Cabin Fever. It must be true.

Frost plays Billy "The Kidder" Merriweather in the show, and though the character couldn't be further from his own style of stand-up, it's hard to lose the feeling he has a genuine affection for the old kind of comedians like Billy Dainty or Eric Morecambe. In fact the script goes so far as to paraphrase Morecambe's punchline from the famous André Preview sketch. Merriweather has been telling the same tired old gags on cruise ships for 25 years and when the company decided not to renew his contract, they got a wet-behind-the-ears manager Oliver (played by Frost's nephew Danny) to do their dirty work for them.

The aging funnyman took exception to this and did the only reasonable thing: he bound and gagged Oliver, and kidnapped him. The two characters were at opposite ends of the last century in their understanding of the entertainment business and Frost (the elder) played the role of a dying breed to perfection. His sometimes frightening tour de force performance, if it had been in full clown make-up, would have given even the adult audience nightmares for years.

The show was also replete with wonderful non sequiturs: "I can't swim," said Oliver, afraid that the comedian was going to throw him overboard. "I can't roller-skate," retorted Merriweather.

Much of the show hung on Frost's ability to carry off the opening monologue, given that Frost (the younger) could only grunt through his gag for the first 20 minutes. He not only carried it off, he ran away with it, proving, several times over, that comedians often make the best dramatic actors. Cabin Fever may not be a large-scale production with a huge cast, but then small is beautiful.

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