Broadway Baby

Aladdin tickets

There is a moment a third a way into Fergus Ford’s play when the lights dim, the comedy darkens and the plot takes a sharp and unsettling swerve into territory already occupied by the Hostel and Saw franchises.

Stu and Alex wake up in bed, chained together by the wrists, neither professing to know what happened the night before. One them does of course, and it would be unfair to give away much else. It is a bold step to try and emulate the torture theme on a stage just metres away from the audience. That it doesn’t entirely succeed is largely the fault in the premise. At close quarters, the buckling DVD player makes an unconvincing weapon (try and bend one), and the more lethal of the two, perhaps thankfully for all concerned, misses its mark.

There’s no denying that the piece is visceral and makes for an uncomfortably riveting hour, but what this story of male rape and revenge really needs is make you care. Lee Hunter and James Ashton in the roles of protagonist and victim do their best with this material, but the old adage that he who seeks revenge should dig two graves never ran true here. Irony and compassion are sadly lacking and the absence of a curtain call, for understandably practical reasons, only alienated this reviewer.


The New Theatre, 5-10 May. 21:30 (Matinee 16:30 on Saturday)

The Blurb

Stu and Alex wake up handcuffed together with no memory of the night before, it all seems very funny - soon the laughter turns to screams, as this eye for an eye, dark, savage and uncompromising production unfolds. www.understairs-productions.org.uk



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