Ripped, by Alex Gwyther is a heroic confrontation with the aftermath of a male sexual assault. The production, playing at Underbelly Cowgate, is a solo performance piece that deftly captures the main character’s desire to hide from his reality by embracing a world of hyper masculinity.
A heroic confrontation with the aftermath of sexual assault
Alex Gwyther gives a stellar performance that reaches the rare balance between humor and haunting agony. Gwyther is pulling double duty as not only the performer, but the writer as well. And the writing really shines. In just sixty minutes this tightly written and entertaining script expertly mixes transitions in space, non-linear time, and introduce many compelling and fully realised characters.
Throughout the play our main character constantly returns to the masculine image of Rambo emphasising the character’s physical size, brute strength and bravery. But what the play shows you, in what is both a triumphant and heart breaking final moment, is that Gwyther is far stronger and braver than Rambo. I, in fact, was left by the idea that Rambo in all his masculine glory would be unable to deal with the physical and emotional aftermath of a sexual assault with the strength that Gwyther’s character shows. A special shout out to the sound design, by Jim Whitcher that adds a significant level of tension and emotional catharsis to the production. Ripped is not to be missed!