02 May 2010

Hurts, Given and Received
by Howard Barker

September - Jane Bertish
Sadavee 1 & 2 - Issy Brazier-Jones
Feltray - Suzy Cooper
Detriment/Stays - Alan Cox
Chorus - Libby Edwards
Bulow/Rib - Nigel Hastings
Chorus - Mark Lewis
Always/Umber - Peter Marinker
Alzarin - Richard Maxted
Glove - Penelope McGhie
Bach - Tom Riley
Chorus - Matt Schmolle

Directed by Gerrard McArthur
Set Designed byTomas Leipzig

A production from The Wrestling School and seen at The Riverside Studios during their Howard Barker Season. Notables in the audience were Tom Mison, Christina Cole and Jemima Rooper.

This play is probably the strongest and best formed of the three but for a tiny little theatre, the staging of the two main productions were fabulous.

Tom Riley's performance was so beautifully paced and energetic. I forgot how much as ease he puts me even when the text is challenging. The play is are like a ballet of words. This guy's prose moves around with a structure Twyla Tharp would have been proud of. Completely enjoyable afternoon/evening.

I forgot to mention the drool. Now, I was used to having this effect on men when I was younger but it seemed to me that Tom spent a full 20 minutes drooling. He also seemed to be pretty much dead on our eye-line and I could hardly look at him. It glistened in the spotlight and he almost gobbed on one of his fellow cast. What IS it with boys and their drooling games?Seriously, Tom is on stage with so much patter all the time, I have no idea how he manages to summon up that much gunk each night with no evidence of a crafty bottle to hydrate him. The things they teach you at drama school, eh?

He's certainly one of those young actors whose professional diary I like to keep in my locker, shall we say but the supporting cast were beautifully complimentary.

For me to justify revisiting a production is a rare treat but I can honestly say, with objectivity and no silly bias, that as I left the auditorium on Sunday, I deeply regretted not having snagged one of those freebie Time-Out tickets. This production invaded my thoughts all week.

4 Star review and analysis plus notes from them wily Whingers.