The one hour, one man play was shown in a small vintage music and clothing store "Blast From The Past", Duke Street. Which accommodated an audience of only 25 people, it was a pleasure to be part of such intimate theatre.
The setting added to this, the unchanged layout of the store meant that the stage was surrounded by records and posters. The simplicity of the set made it a modern and unique take on theatre and impressively felt more like an "experience" than going to see a play.
It would be interesting to see this in a bigger venue and in front of a larger audience. Perhaps the show itself may struggle to carry as well without these effects.
The creepy feel was set straight away by the actor (Rj Lloyd) accompanied by some spooky music, entering and closing the shutters of the store. Leaving the audience in complete darkness before switching on 3 lamps. Again, a naturalistic setting thickening the plot.
Lloyd did well to keep the audience intrigued throughout the hour, as there was a lot of complex dialogue. The character, lured us into a false sense of security, even having us believe he is a victim to some extent with hints of issues at home and growing up. Eventually revealing his true colours, leaving the audience unsettled and uncomfortable, some even passing disturbed glances.
Here I could point out that Lloyd could have pushed the intensity of the character further to show the unravelling and downward spiral that Oscar experienced.
Also, it was times like this that such a naturalistic setting could have contradicted the plot as it made it a little bit harder to believe. Despite this, the coming of age story was none the less creepy, thrilling and worth the watch.
Reviewer: Mary Savage
Reviewed: 4th August 2018
North West End Rating: ★★★