"Come over to my house"
by remotegoat reviewer for remotegoat on 18/05/15

Raggabones is a beautifully lit Pinteresque vignette. The sound of docks at night is in the air and in the cold blue moonlight two figures are waiting, shivering. Whoever they are they are clearly lowly members of some northern underworld – the programme tells us they are stevedores, but one assumes that whatever they load and unload is of dubious legality. They are waiting for their boss, who we gather is a pretty unsavoury character. As they wait they spy something floating in the water – could it be rags or driftwood, and are those arms…?

Raggabones is short in duration and substance. In the end I didn’t really feel that I’d learned anything significant about the characters, their relationships or human nature. Did I need to? The expectation comes from a sense that this is a ‘serious’ piece; and, serious or not, I do feel the need for some kind of journey in the text. This feels more like a scene from something more satisfying, something I’d very much like to see.
Complete or not, Raggabones is beautifully performed and designed. Edward Ferrow and Lil Davis deliver wonderfully pitched performances and the sound and lighting are really atmospheric. And to be fair the writing is excellent, there just needs to be more.

House - by the same writer, Chris Doran – is very much a contrast. This is a farce folks, with all that that entails. Frenetic action, ludicrous plot twists, rattling dialogue. I may be wrong – I often am – but it seems to me that farce is somewhat out of fashion in new writing, and if there’s more like this I welcome it! It’s quite rare for me to laugh aloud at live shows but House had me chuckling merrily away – even letting loose the odd guffaw.
We hear breaking glass and a figure sprawls forward onto the stage. This is Matt, he’s lost his key, he’s very drunk – not A DRUNK just drunk. As he confusedly ties to orient himself, he is suddenly confronted by a beautiful stranger – or is it she who is confronted by him?
What follows is a roller-coaster of revelation laden plot. You’ll be surprised, delighted and full of mirth. Edward Ferrow’s Matt is a sympathetic everyman struggling to understand events through a haze of drink, Josefine Bergstrom’s beautiful stranger is genuinely alluring and delightfully lunatic. Let the laughter roll…

This double bill is directed with great aplomb by Alexandra Harman and forms a great showcase for the Peregrine ensemble. The only question in my mind is how well the two plays sit together: House is a self-contained and hilarious farce with no need for anything beyond the script and action; whereas Raggabones, while beautiful and atmospheric, is so confined and hints so strongly at what lies outside the play that it seems incomplete. Nevertheless, they certainly demonstrate range.
If you get the chance, go, see them, whet your appetite. You’ll want to see more of what Peregrine can do./

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