Frank Sent Me

Two gangsters, Howe and Wallace, are trapped in a room, awaiting the inevitable knock at the door that will signal the end for Howe. After years of working for the eponymous Frank, loyal Howe has made a mistake, fallen out of favour with the mobster Frank and must face his destiny. We don’t know what his fateful mistake was but this just adds to the tension. With more than a touch of Waiting for Godot we wait out Howe’s last hour wondering, will he run, will Frank change his mind or will there simply be another twist in this dark comic tale?

The twist in this Pinteresque piece comes when Frank decides to insult Howe further and send the tea boy, Blake, to do a real man's job.

The twist in this Pinteresque piece comes when Frank decides to insult Howe further and send the tea boy, Blake, to do a real man's job. Izaak Cainer’s entrance changes the mood dramatically; his performance of naive and nervous Blake brings the element of comedy. His timing is near perfect and he spars with the other two older actors brilliantly.

Directed slickly by Peter Darney and written by Julian Poidevin this is a fun and slick Fringe show; but this isn’t your average gangster story. Wallace and Howe are lovers and their relationship is believable and well rounded. A great turn by Matthew Gibbs makes Wallace quirky, camp and scared without ever going too far and making him seem like a caricature. Apparently Poidevin became interested in writing aged thirteen when he found a copy of Harold Pinter’s The Room in a skip and you can tell where he gets his inspiration. Dark menace simmers underneath a twisted and comic story.

Well worth four stars this show was entertaining, funny and at times moving. A great Fringe show that deserves a future.

Reviews by Lou Rogers

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Performances

Location

The Blurb

An East End gangster and his ‘friend’ await an irrevocably life-changing visit. Chaos ensues as Frank sends a boy to do a man’s job. **** “Subtly subversive entertainment” (The Scotsman). “Impeccably structured comedy” **** (Three Weeks). “New dimension to the gangster drama” ***** (New Current).