Loaded

Alter Ego charges in with another winning production. Energetic from the start, the play gives an insight into the life of a mechanic suffused with dark undertones of criminal behaviour and domestic abuse.

Director Sean McGrath delivers a finely crafted piece of theatre producing a passionately charged and varied piece, which is at times funny, poignant, sad and thought provoking.

The speed of the dialogue rattles through like HS2, speeding through the country with such speed that it's hard to keep up. The dialogue begins with jovial discourse between a garage owner and his colleagues, which leads to progressively more sinister discourse with the arrival of Carol. She ramps up the atmosphere and tension, exuding sexuality and an underlying sadness washed down with a drop of alcoholism. She plays a dangerous game in her attempt to command power and status.

A plan to hold a robbery is hatched by Pete. Mick and Hud embark on the scheme, but Pete himself fails to turn up. His inability to follow through with the job leads to his personal unravelling, and his relationship with Carol is brought to a dramatic end. Pete is left stripped of his hard man exterior, broken on all accounts.

Gemma Paget as Carol is sublime. She delivers a very honest and psychologically fraught character that is fully embodied and real. She explodes into the play in a frenzy of emotional turmoil, trying desperately to maintain an ounce of dignity and strength in the world that she has gotten herself involved with. Paget is an exceptional and talented actress who gives nothing but her best.

Andrew Murton’s portrayal of Pete is at times subtle but we gain an insight into a man at odds with his nature with skill. He reminds me of John Simm and has an instantly likeable and watchable persona on stage.

Nick Rogers as Mick gives a rounded, accomplished performance as the sidekick who is far more involved than he at first appears. He plays well in both the dramatic and comedic moments and captures the audience with effortless talent.

Christopher Ward has a very warm and endearing nature and plays the jovial Hud with ease. At home with the audience he innocently follows orders from the boss and provides a lot of the comedic aspects in a down-to-earth manner played at just the right level.

Director Sean McGrath delivers a finely crafted piece of theatre producing a passionately charged and varied piece, which is at times funny, poignant, sad and thought provoking. 

Reviews by Greg Smith

The Brockley Jack Studio Theatre

Loaded

★★★★★
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★★★★★
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★★★★
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★★★
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★★★★
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★★★

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Performances

Location

The Blurb

In a backstreet garage in Sheffield the tensions are mounting. One minute Pete and his co-workers, Mick and Hud, are having a laugh fleecing Mondeo drivers, the next they’re engaged in an unspoken war. It’s got less to do with camshafts and more to do with Carol. Carol needs saving – mainly from herself – and money is needed for that. Pete hasn’t got any but Mick and Hud are planning a job, something big, something involving shooters and Pete can be in on it, if he’s got the nerve.

David Bown’s award-winning dark comedy Loaded was first performed at The Edinburgh Fringe in 1999. Like David’s previous play Stand, it received fantastic reviews in the national press and has since been toured in the North of England by Hull Truck and Reform Theatre Company. The November production at The Jack Studio is Loaded’s London premiere.

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