My Night With Raj, Reek and Zuckerberg

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As previously mentioned, part of my job at Yelp is to set up some seriously amazing events showcasing the best of local London. But this one truly takes the stage.

I spent the evening in Trafalgar Studios, a tiny theatre next to Trafalgar Square (and when I say tiny, I mean squeezing past people in hallways just to get to your seat) to see The Spoils, the new play written by and starring Jesse Eisenberg of The Social Network fame.

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Jesse Eisenberg

Here’s the synopsis:

[box type=”shadow”] “Nobody likes Ben. Ben doesn’t even like Ben. He bullies everyone in his life, including his roommate Kalyan, an earnest Nepalese immigrant. When Ben discovers that his school crush is marrying a straight-laced banker, he sets out to destroy their relationship and win her back.”[/box]

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This is Eisenberg’s third play and you can tell he has an ear for those perfect awkward situations that make up life. The Spoils is a dramatic comedy with emphasis on the drama. I’m not going to give anything away, but there were scenes that were simply two people talking, and it had me cringing in my seat – and others that made me laugh louder than I meant to in such a tiny theatre.

It was also brilliantly acted by Kunal Nayyar (Raj in The Big Bang Theory), Alfie Allen (Theon in Game of Thrones), Olivier Award winner Katie Brayben and Annapurna Sriram (Tara in Billions).

And after the show ended and the theatre emptied… we got to meet the cast. So cool.

They did a short Q&A and then took pics with all of us on the stage (including one nice big group shot) and couldn’t have been nicer.

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(I also got to give my, “this is what we do at Yelp” speech to the entire cast, which means I can petty much die now a happy man.)

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It was an excellent show and an unforgettable evening. 🎭
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THE GOOD: The play. I’m still thinking about it days later. The humour, which truly did make me laugh. The drama, which truly did make me cringe. The acting, which was top notch.
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THE BAD: The ending. Everything wrapped up a little too nicely, especially for a character who probably did not deserve the ending he got. But it was a small point in an overall interesting play with actors at the top of their game.
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Photos in this post were taken by Nathan Dainty of Very Creative Photography.
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The Spoils is playing at the Trafalagar Studios from now until Saturday 13th August. You can buy tickets here.
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