"It's a comedy about violence"
by Aline Waites for remotegoat on 26/04/18

The Glory is a jaunty East End pub full of fairy lights, tinsel with a small stage a stage backed by a slash cloth at one end a place just waiting for a drag act to perform. This is a packed house, a crowd of people waiting, anticipating something that they know is going to be an event. Something different and just a tiny bit scary. We know it would be downstairs behind the narrow door, but the door is closed and guarded by the man in a multicoloured kimono.

The event is due to start any minute, but apparently the actors are still rehearsing – practising – this is the last week of the run, surely they know it by now!. But the fact that we are being kept waiting adds to the mystique.

At last we are allowed down a long dark narrow staircase into a realm of blackness. The cellar is black, the ceiling is low and black. On a dais in front of us there is just a covered up sofa – the only sign of comfort in that bleak cellar.

Jonny Woo, an elegant business is in a suit – looking super- efficient. And well in charge of the proceedings. Another man, Alexis Gregory, smaller, bearded less self-confident frightened but eager for what is to happen.

First of all the paper work has to be taken care of. The younger man’s CV has to be explored. His booking confirmation is checked. Terms and conditions, Health and safety all must be looked into.

It became borne upon us that this is a murder scene, the bearded man is here to be killed and killed as brutally as possible. The two are planning to enact another recent killing – a vicious sex crime. Alex is hoping that afterwards he will be on Television just like the other victim.

Here is a fearsome scenario, described as a comedy. But although the funny lines come thick and fast – as thick and fast as the cruel ones, it is a beautifully written piece – a poem by a man who knows how the England language works and uses it to the fullest effect.

The play is described as a comedy. It's a comedy about violence. They are there to re create a brutal murder. The two men are determined to make this the best killing ever. The one who plays the master and the killer, is upper class and sophisticated, the other, lower in class is the victim. A neat echo of current politics.

The cleverest thing about this play is the total lack of violence. A stamp of the foot equals a blow to the head, but it is so frightening one can feel it. When the slaughter takes place, there is a blackout and we hear the screams in total darkness. We are forced to exercise our imaginations.

Robert Chevara is the director of this piece and as always he is able to create an experience for the audience that completely exposes our deepest feelings of fear – and he works brilliantly with the comic thrust of Alex’s script which makes us laugh at the same time.

It is a considered a queer play – and indeed it is homosexual sex we are talking about, but it would appeal just as much to anyone involved in human life. I confess I cannot totally understand everything, but I enjoyed experiencing it. This is a play that should be seen – not just by gay people, but by humankind.

Great lighting by Mike Robertson.

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