Happy Ending at Above The Stag – Studio Theatre: Review by Stephen Vowles


To find out if Ronnie Larsen’s highly amusing play Happy Ending finishes with the two characters going off into the sunset together you have to pay a visit to the new Studio Theatre at Above The Stag in Vauxhall.

Set in a massage parlour, both meanings of the phrase ‘happy ending’ are important to the story. Andy, played by Owen Landon, is the owner of a massage salon, and Mr Miller, played by Alexander Hulme, is there rather nervously to have his first massage. The dialogue is fast and witty with writer Larsen making comments about sexual and mental manipulation. The shift in who actually has the upper hand throughout the play is beautifully played out with Andy accepting the fact that with his job comes the role of confessor and amateur psychiatrist. Both actors are very comfortable in their roles and when Larsen includes comments about Trump’s America or challenging accepted gay stereotypes this adds to the weight of the play. The power of social media and where the line is crossed between being interested and stalker is also examined. As the play draws to its conclusion the message is that there can be a magical quality to how friendships or love affairs begin. Both actors and director Andrew Beckett handle this intense attraction brilliantly. A smile on your face is guaranteed.

Happy Ending is in the Studio Theatre at Above The Stag runs until 19th August, Arch 72 Albert Embankment, Vauxhall, SE1 7TP. Book tickets at 

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