Anthony Burgess 'A Clockwork Orange'

Fourth Monkey’s Clockwork Orange smolders with a visceral energy that flares into violence at the slightest excuse. Telling the story of Alex, a young vicious thug, and his friends who rape, abuse, beat and kill without hesitation, the play assaults the audience’s senses. It uses a mixture of powerful classical music and thumping dance beats, combined with soft filament bulbs and flashing strip lighting to keep the audience in a constant state of discomfort.Like Alex during his later Ludovico Treatment – which robs him of the ability to do wrong – we are unable to look away from the violence and horror. A blood-stained umbrella is put to use in a rape scene, realistic vomit bubbles into a bowl but the audience watches on, transfixed. Through the mayhem, Amy Brangwyn’s Alex swaggers and leers, demanding and receiving attention and respect from both ‘Droogs’ and audience – she is a dominating presence in any scene. Brangwyn is just as believable as a blubbering, sycophantic wretch, capturing perfectly Alex’s mixture of vulnerability and hatefulness. The rest of the cast create a strong, menacing chorus. Individual characters feature briefly and melt back; Mr Deltoid (Bianca Beckles-Rose) is a slimy representative of good no better than evil, Dr Brodsky (Ellen Rose) moves like a lascivious puppet.The violence can become too much, giving the piece an unrelenting single tone. This is offset by Gianni Tozi’s Chaplain and F Alexander, played with a gentleness that is a welcome relief from the rest of the play. Occasionally the cast bursts into raucous, swaying song: combined with the checks, buckles, puffed sleeves, hoods and harem trousers of the costume, this lends the show a dark carnival atmosphere. Even their curtain call packs a punch. This is a powerful, demanding adaptation of Anthony Burgess’ classic, and is not to be missed.

Reviews by Louisa-Claire Dunnigan

The Blurb

Following a sell-out London run described as 'possessing unrestrained passion at its heart' (ExtraExtra.org), Fourth Monkey presents Anthony Burgess' seminal, often violent, yet timeless tale concerning an individual's right to freedom of choice.