"real acting... no holds barred"
by Aline Waites for remotegoat on 27/03/18

Philip Ridley’s blisteringly honest play is here directed by the most appropriately vital director in the business. Robert Chevara and Philip Ridley are a match made in heaven or hell. Add to this the charismatic actress Louise Jameson and the talented young actor Thomas Mahey and Nicolai Hart Hansen’s designer eyes and the effect is breath-taking.

Robert Chevara has so much insight to the characters he shows us and he is lucky to be able to use the dramatic abilities of Ms Jameson who matches his honesty with hers and the chemistry between her and Mahy with such absolute professionalism.

Anita is the mother of a murdered boy a victim of homophobic hate crime. She has been forced to leave her neighbourhood because of the scorn of her neighbours – it is pointed out to us that mothers of homosexuals and come in for scorn and disapproval from uncaring and unknowing people. She tries desperately hard to stay cool, but we can tell there is probably an explosion below the surface.

She has arrived at her new flat and is visited by a young man who has been stalking her for eighteen weeks, ever since the young man was killed. He is Davey, the boy who found the body of her son.

They talk of Vincent, Anita reveals a certain amount of information – she says she had no idea her son was gay until the press wrote the murder story. But she tells us about a good looking, kind and intelligent young man.

Eventually Davy admits that the girl he has promised to marry was just to please his dying mother who he has nursed during her last illness.

The two gradually get to know each other through their relationship with Vincent. There are many points of powerful high drama that never falls into melodrama but always stays completely true, so many moments of black humour and actually funny scenes when Anita shares a joint for the first time and cannot stop laughing. She has been swigging straight gin from the bottle she was keeping under the sink and, after demurring weakly Davy has to join in

Humour is never far away, nor is tragedy. Both explode in anger frequently – anger, laughter and tears

As an admirer of the work of Philip Ridley one is constantly amazed at his expertise in creating dialogue that is real and rue and never stops being entertaining. He will take a favourite subject that has been told many times and finds a brand new way to tell it. This play gives two actors the chance to do a bit of real acting with no holds barred. This did not receive a standing ovation – we were still so gobsmacked we were anchored to our seats.

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