Written by Ron Aldridge
Directed by Simon Downing
The Man - Giles Shenton
Giles Shenton (Old Herbaceous/Three Men in a Boat/Much Ado About Falstaff) returns with a "thought provoking" and "cleverly constructed, wonderful piece of theatre" about a man preparing to fulfil his lifelong ambition to be a stand-up comedian, “…puts one in mind of Alan Bennett’s Talking Heads”.
You join the man as he prepares backstage for his first ever stand up comedy gig. Something he has waited over 30 years for. Find out how he got to this point in his life……but be warned……the man and the performance are not quite what they seem!
“Giles Shenton held his audience’s attention for nearly two hours; their interest or curiosity in the first half and then to have them fully engrossed in the second before a shocked silence when you could hear a pin drop in the auditorium.”
“Being billed as a comedy, and the title it has, understates what is a wonderful piece of theatre.....but this one-man performance, brilliantly put over by Giles Shenton, is so much more than that as it all evolves in the second half.....The audience was privileged to be entertained, and have its emotions thoroughly massaged, by such a thought provoking and high quality production.”
Beccles & Bungay Journal
“Giles Shenton gifts us with another tour de force...catch it while you can!”
"Saw My Dog’s Got No Nose yesterday at the Stables Theatre, Great Comp. Can't tell you what an impression Giles Shenton had on my husband and myself. From thinking we had a not very good stand up, to one of the best acted and produced shows we have seen in a long time is an understatement. Please thank Giles on our behalf. He was brilliant and we look forward to seeing him in more shows." Audience feedback
25 Nov 2023 2 Sisters Arts Centre, Felixstow, Suffolk
18 Apr 2024 Petersfield Museum, Petersfield, Hants
24 Feb 2017 Phoenix Theatre, Bordon, Hants
25 Feb 2017 Phoenix Theatre, Bordon, Hants
4 Mar 2017 Fisher Theatre, Bungay, Suffolk
22 Apr 2017 Nomad Theatre, East Horsley, Surrey
21 Sept 2017 Stables Theatre, Great Comp, Kent
23 Sept 2017 Brighton Open Air Theatre, Brighton
21 Oct 2017 Vera Fletcher Hall, Thames Ditton, Surrey
10 Nov 2017 Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford, Surrey
5 May 2018 Cygnet Theatre, Exeter, Devon
11 May 2018 Manor Pavilion Theatre, Sidmouth
26 May 2018 Barn Theatre, Smallhythe Place, Kent
1 June 2018 Players Theatre, Thame, Oxon
7 June 2018 Stables Theatre, Great Comp, Kent
14 June 2018 Leatherhead Theatre, Surrey
25 Apr 2019 Southwold Arts Centre, Suffolk
26 Apr 2019 Wingfield Barns, Suffolk
5 May 2019 Glastonbury Abbey, Somerset
9 May 2019 OSO Arts Centre, Barnes Green, London
23 May 2019 Middlesbrough Theatre, North Yorkshire
27 June 2019 South Hill Park Arts Centre, Bracknell
10 June 2023 Dorchester-on-Thames Village Hall, Oxon
Actor Giles Shenton returned to Dorchester Village Hall on 10
June for a third visit, giving us My Dog’s Got No Nose, another
of his one man shows. Previously we have seen Old
Herbaceous and Three Men in a Boat, but this was something
The previous two performances had both been somewhat wistful; the gardener at the big house slowly unfolding his adoration of the lady of the house, and the comic narrative of J as the three men row up the Thames. This, however, was something completely different. My Dog’s Got No Nose, written by Ron Aldridge, was a real and powerful
There was little hint of this in the first half. In a sparse setting compared to the intricate sets we had seen previously, we saw a man, name unrevealed, preparing for his first appearance before an audience as a stand up comic. He is full of nerves, which, to calm himself down, he tells us and himself is just the chemical reaction of adrenaline, along with rehearsing some jokes of variable quality. Also of variable quality is the narrative he begins to tell us of his life story.
Stories of rejection by women when he was a young man were described in a way that clearly made some of the audience a little uncomfortable. His description of men of that age being led not by either their heart or their head but by their willy, and how it is difficult to tell when a woman says no she means no, maybe or yes, may be attitudes that pre-date the ‘Me Too’ movement. The play, first performed in 2009 predates the growth in prominence of that movement is some eight years later but that is where audiences are nowadays, and this was the dominant topic of discussion during the
interval, and some people in the audience left.. (There is a comparison here with One Man Two Guvnors, which, set in 1963, parades many of the attitudes of that time, particularly the sexism, only to attack and debunk them later on. This play never gets round to doing that.)
But those who gave up on the play missed a complete change in tone in the second half and one of the most powerful depictions of emotion that I have seen from an actor.
In the first half, in between the nerves and the sweating as he
prepares himself to perform, we hear how he met and married his wife (the first woman not to say ‘No’ to him). The half closes after we see some of his stage performance of rather tired jokes and garish costume.
For the second half, he returns to the dressing room, pleased with the way the performance went and continues the story of how he had dreamed for 30 years of being a stand-up comic but that his wife was implacably opposed to it. We hear more about his loveless marriage, his attraction to his sister-on-law, and how that all turns out. We go on a roller coaster of emotion from violent anger and rage, so expertly depicted in Giles’s face that you feel that the anger is directed at us, the audience; but then dropping dramatically to pathos, guilt and
self-examination as the tale of events unfolds. And then doing it all again as things go wrong for him once more. Finally we realise where and how his dream has finally been played out, which is a long way from where we started.
Giles Shenton’s performance is so powerful that I came out of the hall emotionally drained, although as someone said to me, imagine how drained Giles must be. He has been performing this play for six years now as part of his repertoire, and it surely must be one of the toughest to get through. A remarkable performance., and one that demonstrated the range and versatility of actor Giles Shenton."
Surrey Advertiser Review
..." It's the toughest, you know, stand- up comedy"...reaction to our hero, a furniture salesman, who takes the brave leap into stand- up. It is, too, but this intriguing play is so much more. "Here we go again", might be your reaction to the first half...but stay and you will be well rewarded. Giles Shenton's virtuoso performance tugs at our heartstrings, through all layers of pathos, as much as any Paganini... or Nigel Kennedy.
An amazing performance in a very clever play... Giles is making quite a reputation for himself in "one-handers", following the very successful "Old Herbaceous", which he also continues to tour.
This production of "My Dog's Got No Nose"', playing at the Nomad Theatre, East Horsley last weekend, directed by Simon Downing and produced by Andrew Brewis, is a very different kettle of fish...
As with football, this is certainly " a game of two halves". The first half is perhaps not for the easily offended...there's a bit of swearing and sexual reference, of the more salacious kind...just what you might expect from "stand-up" itself! Buckle up, though, after the interval...our hero shows the courage and suffering involved in love and the whole atmosphere changes dramatically, playing on the human empathy of the audience. We are privileged to share in a moving expose of a testing and, in a way, very lovely gamut of human emotion.
Giles Shenton gifts us with another tour de force...catch it while you can!
I laughed until I cried does not quite describe my reaction to Ron Aldridge’s one-man play, My Dog’s Got No Nose, but a mixture of emotions and some shock revelations over nearly two hours of its performance time do make it a compelling watch.
The theatre alone is a little treasure which should be helped and encouraged to put on even more quality productions. And, yes, My Dog’s Got No Nose, which only played for two nights last week, did have great value in the hands of versatile actor Giles Shenton and under the direction of Simon Downing.
Giles and Simon have been around the drama scene for some years, both as actors and directors, and they certainly know their stuff. Last year’s excellent production of Old Herbaceous is still going the rounds to great acclaim and again underlines the exceptional talent of these two men.
Why anybody should want to be a stand-up comedian is beyond the comprehension of most people who would regard it as being thrown into the lion’s den, even our man can’t quite understand why he is putting himself through such an ordeal now that the moment has come after 30 years of waiting for such an opportunity. While he tries to control his nerves before going on stage for the first time he chats to the audience to tell them candidly of his somewhat unsatisfactory love life prior to and after marriage, his job as a furniture salesman and his enduring passion for his sister-in-law, confiding that he is an upper thigh man rather than other parts of the female anatomy.
He fretted and fidgeted, constantly checked his makeup and sweated profusely (and Shenton really did) for what seemed like an undue length of time until he finally made it onto the stage. His costume might have been bright and new and his trainers twinkling nicely but his act wasn’t and the mainly sexist jokes were tired and worn. All a bit tedious you might think, but then this is a cleverly constructed piece of theatre and the humdrum bathos of the first act is needed to catapult an audience into the unexpected drama of the second half when our genial character (he has no name) shows a different side to his character.
Giles Shenton held his audience’s attention for nearly two hours; their interest or curiosity in the first half and then to have them fully engrossed in the second before a shocked silence when you could hear a pin drop in the auditorium.
What a pity there wasn’t a larger audience on Friday evening to appreciate an actor who can craft his performance to cover such a dramatic range and has the stamina for a solo performance which incorporates both comedy and tragedy.
This production of My Dog’s Got No Nose tours around during this year and will be at The Nomad Theatre in East Horsley on March 22. Old Herbaceous will be at the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre in Guildford on May 20 – both well worth an evening at the theatre.
Being billed as a comedy, and the title it has, understates what is a wonderful piece of theatre.
Yes, there is comedy in the first half of this play by Ron Aldridge as a would-be stand-up comedian prepares for his first show – practising, agonising, self-doubting as he awaits his cue to go on.
And we learn of his unsatisfactory marriage to Judith, and her sister’s mundane marriage to husband Roger.
But this one-man performance, brilliantly put over by Giles Shenton, is so much more than that as it all evolves in the second half. It is a story full of feelings, the whole gamut of emotions, frustration, anger, pathos and tragedy. It absorbs the audience fully as it moves to its dramatic conclusion, and puts one in mind of Alan Bennett’s Talking Heads television plays of a few years ago. It is the tears of a clown – exploring one man’s personal life usually hidden by the make-up and the buzz of entertaining an audience.
Saturday’s visit to the Fisher was only its third showing so far. The audience was privileged to be entertained, and have its emotions thoroughly massaged, by such a thought provoking and high quality production.
"Saw My Dog’s Got No Nose yesterday at the Stables Theatre, Great Comp. Can't tell you what an impression Giles Shenton had on my husband and myself. From thinking we had a not very good stand up, to one of the best acted and produced shows we have seen in a long time is an understatement. Please thank Giles on our behalf. He was brilliant and we look forward to seeing him in more shows."
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