Hitman and Her

A woman walks into a bar. She (Lou Kendon-Ross) tries to persuade a reluctant hitman, (Alex Dee), to kill her adulterous husband. The premise of the play might be simple, yet the plot and performances are far from it, as Tim Connery’s new writing takes the audience on an hour of absurdist dark comedy. This is a well-paced piece of fun.

This is a well-paced piece of fun.

The mysterious hitman, who repeatedly demands “no names!” to a seemingly dumb and careless woman, had an intriguing Britain First aura about him. Are we to expect some political rant about how Muslims are stealing England’s Green and Pleasant Land? This man is not your average hitman. He transcends the mere “Holy Trinity of Englishness”, rejecting “unpredictable lunacy”. Perhaps he might have been a film critic in another life, or a Blue Peter Presenter? This man, it seems, has been deserted by a society that no longer cares for the Kray-type celebrity figure. He is lost but will do the job he ought to do.

Yet this spurned woman is hardly moral herself, despite pointing out how the hitman kills “willy nilly”. She is bizarrely socially inept with her unfaltering honesty, which only wavers when asked about her hubbies’ girlfriend. Is she insane as the hitman suspects? The absurdist aura prevailed as these questions were left unanswered, juxtaposed to her freakishly logical desire for a four-hundred-day year. “Control” and “order” drive her to regain emotional freedom through the most extreme action: murder. Although the couple were once “two sides of the same coin”, one side must now be purged.

This was an exceptionally constructed and tightly-weaved script. The playwright has created sensical, believable characters within a ridiculous world; we embrace this. There are some strands that could perhaps be expanded upon such as the hitman’s referral to his dead daughter. Yet maybe that’s the point – dead ends are inevitable.

Does this story we’ve been invited to embrace made sense? Did the playwright not realise the blatant plot holes? Why doesn’t this unwilling Hitman walk out? Why doesn’t the woman give up and leave due to his reluctance? What’s with all the unnecessary chit-chat and long-winded tangents? These questions will all be answered; they’ll all become clear if you watch the play. Perhaps the point of it all is that there is no point. There is no end. Yet this is strangely satisfying as the audience accepts the “non-ending” with a smile.

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Performances

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The Blurb

Following the success at last year’s Edinburgh Fringe with the five-star show After Today, Stage D’Or returns with their latest work from acclaimed playwright Tim Connery. Donna Ryeman’s friend meets a hitman in a pub as she wants her husband dead. He is reluctant to accept, particularly as it seems that Donna Ryeman’s friend may not be 'all there' even though she has a certificate to prove her sanity. Will he take the job? What’s with the Post-it Notes? Why is the pub suddenly so empty? And who is having an affair with her husband?

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