21 Apr


by Christopher Adams

at theStudio, Soho Theatre

a TUMULUS is a burial mound, There is one on Hampstead Heath and that is where the body was found. Yes, this is a whodunnit played with humour, horror, sex and drugs.
Anthony is a respectable homosexual librarian with a drug habit.  We find him at a chemsex party where people take drugs in glasses of apple juice or Lucozade in order to give them a special sexual experience. Unfortunately, this results in noises in the head which can only be quietened by another dose of the drug.
Anthony is wandering about at the party when he suddenly sees a past lover, just a casual affair he had with a young man called George. The very person whose dead body was found on the Heath with a police verdict of Drug Overdose. Anthony has noted that in the report of the death there were certain things that did not fit Anthony’s knowledge of the young man. One thing that was missing was his necklace with an emblem of The Eye of Horus – his most treasured possession. The spirit of George tells Anthony to find the necklace it will be with the person who murdered him.
It is then that the Librarian becomes a Gumshoe in a raincoat and fedora searching for possible suspects in the chemically induced parties. He visits the house of his ex-lover Jonathan, one who has given up the drugs and written books about his experiences. There he meets Jack the teenage cousin of Jonathan and in him he sees a resemblance to George.
It is a particularly well-written thriller story, particularly well acted by Ciaran Owen who plays Anthony; Ian Hollard who plays all the over forty-year-olds and  Harry Lister Smith who plays all the younger ones. It is a large cast andThe characters change rapidly from policemen to welfare ladies to guests at the chemsex parties, sometimes the changes take place within seconds and without any kind of costume changes. Owen wears normal clothes and the others wear white shirts and little red shorts..
The fun begins as the audience arrive and each given the choice of Apple juice or Lucozade.
Nick Manning has designed the sound, including noises in the heads of the participants. They are terrifying and there are flashing lights to go with them designed by Christopher Nairne.
The actors are all miked up so we can hear the noises and also the dialogue that is in the minds of the characters.
Christopher Adams has written a riveting play directed by Matt Steinberg.
It is played in the Studio at Soho so we can get the claustrophobic feeling of a  private party.
A short play – only an hour long but without a single wasted second in the writing.


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