Sweetness and Light

Glucose and Dextrose are state-approved killers, unstable and violent. In this piece of new writing from a new company, the volatile pair work as ‘Community Sanitisers’, secretly eliminating undesirables until they discover that the Office of Population Adjustment has made a serious error. What follows is a dark and twisted black comedy about brotherhood and violence.

The whole production is charged with restless energy and paranoia as Glucose and Dextrose find themselves deeper and deeper in trouble.

The writing is lyrical — the play started life as a poem, and is written in verse and Cockney rhyme. To listen to, it sounds a little like A Clockwork Orange — apt given the violence of the action. It’s clever writing, but admittedly hard to follow, and some of the detail of what’s happening gets lost.

It is likely that, on the day that I saw it, the production, which is described as a slapstick black comedy, suffered for the lack of a large audience — it didn’t quite deliver on the laughs, and without them, the violence was left feeling quite relentless. There’s not much relief from the characters’ cycles of aggression, and the play, for the most part, doesn’t stray far from that level.

To keep it there, though, the pair give it their all. The duo are strong actors who, eyes popping, give tight performances that do not slip. The whole production is charged with restless energy and paranoia as Glucose and Dextrose find themselves deeper and deeper in trouble.

There are good elements in this show, which is clearly well thought out, but it is tough to keep pace with it all the way through. Definitely worth a look in, though, if you’re interested in seeing some original and off-beat new writing and a committed performance of dark material.

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The Blurb

A slapstick black comedy in rhyme. Taste loyalty, brotherhood, state thuggery and ever-tightening cycles of violence. A standard community sanitation job? Volatile operatives Glucose and Sucrose discover The Department of Population Adjustment have screwed up, badly. Early retirement looms. Welcome to the bygone future, where the subtleties of mass control are left to the ill-made and broken-minded. Verse drama. Fast and funny. New writing from a new company. 'Culture is the passion for sweetness and light. And... the passion for making them prevail... the pursuit of perfection then, is the pursuit of sweetness and light' (Matthew Arnold).

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