Lucifer is the second instalment in
For such a short play Lucifer seems to encompass a lengthy and entirely believable descent into darkness, constructing a domestic tragedy reminiscent of Arthur Miller.
Soon Marlene’s wise-cracking cousin Michael (Oliver Tilney) comes to visit. Michael is a bent cop who does Nick the occasional favour. Word on the street is that Nick has taken over the ‘outfit’ since the mighty Al Capone wound up in Alcatraz. The dialogue rattles along nicely as forced smiles and tentative questions mask growing unease between the two men on different sides of the law. When Marlene is sent out for some food, talk turns to business.
For a while it all remains relatively innocuous. Calvitto’s affable but menacing Nick keeps his hands clean by “passing orders along the chain” and leaving the dirty work for henchmen and corrupt police. But Chicago is awash with rumours and gradually the cracks begin to show. Strains of discordant music and tensely controlled performances from Calvitto and Preece add to the growing disquiet, producing an intense and claustrophobic experience in the gloomy, wallpapered studio.
Some hesitant delivery aside, the show is compelling. For such a short play Lucifer seems to encompass a lengthy and entirely believable descent into darkness, constructing a domestic tragedy reminiscent of Arthur Miller. Calvitto shook off an unsure start to produce an utterly convincing transformation from affectionate husband to ruthless killer, and Preece and Tilney perform well alongside him as the three combine to produce an agonising final scene.