VINCENT RIVER

22 May
VINCENT RIVER
BY PHILIP RIDLEY
AT THE TRAFALGAR STUDIOS
Two people meet for the first time. They do not know each other, but they have a strong bond in the man Vincent River – a victim of a hate crime.
This play was at the Park Theatre last year and I decided then that this was probably one of the best plays ever written.
This winning team is reproduced at the Trafalgar Studios along with two stunning actors – the famous award-winning Louise Jameson and comparative newcomer, Thomas Mahy, discovered by the director after auditioning around sixty young men of all shapes and sizes. 
These two actors, disparate in so many ways, fight, mistrust, hate and love each other during the seventy tense minutes. Louise plays Anita, the suffering mother of Vincent River a victim of hate crime.  Davy, is the young man who found the body in a disused railway station.
The director, Robert Chevara one of the most respected directors in Europe has a wonderful way of getting into the hearts of the characters and creating startling stage pictures for the audience to take home in their minds and remember.
Every minute is riveting, there is not a wasted word in this poetic, violent, beautifully written and sometimes humorous piece. It takes place in real time in Anita’s new flat where she has fled from the hatred and disrespect of the neighbours. A bright, intelligent and beautiful person, she has been a victim of hatred and bullying all her life, the boy was her one happiness and he has been uselessly murdered.
Now, the production also has the presence of our most successful and exciting producer Danielle Tarento. She has a perfect theatrical taste as can be further proved by her other production at Charing Cross Theatre, the wonderful ‘Amour’. Nothing Danielle does will ever be ordinary. Even to the wine at the after show party was excellent.
Nicolai  Hart Hansen’s set colours are effective in shades of white and beige, the oatmilk coloured walls putting into relief the colours of the actors’ clothes. Anita in white tights and dark red jumper and the boy in black. Still further enhanced by the eccentric lighting of Marty Langthorne  Lights scattered in prime positions on the set coming on and off at specific times to highlight the action. Most especially the window at the back which starts streaked with dirty snow and changes to yellow, orange or red according to whatever other lighting is being used.
This production is a perfect theatrical experience as the characters go from comedy to tragedy from tenderness to fury or heartbreak with just about every human emotion displayed in front of us. Every word rings true. The performances cannot be faulted.

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