REVIEW: THE FETCH The Old Red Lion, Angel
Three star rating Did you call the police? asks Tessa. This question at the start immediately gives us the delicious feeling of unease essential to a mystery play – and the possibility of a murder story. She has been called by Lila s husband Victor, as
Three star rating
'Did you call the police?" asks Tessa. This question at the start immediately gives us the delicious feeling of unease essential to a mystery play - and the possibility of a murder story.
She has been called by Lila's husband Victor, asking for help because his wife has gone missing. Tessa is Lila's identical twin sister and should have an insight into Lila's state of mind. The police say it is too soon to start an investigation.
Victor is distraught, restless wanting to search the streets. Tessa persuades him to stay home in case Lila calls or turns up. So they remain alone together in the claustrophobic atmosphere of the flat.
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It is a great start to a gruelling, psychological melodrama. The suspense hardly lets up throughout as Victor drinks constantly and starts to reminisce about the last night he and Lila spent together.
The ensuing flashbacks are confusing at first as Susan Bracken doubles up as Lila.
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Flashbacks tend to be awkward on stage. But we learn to differentiate the two characters and the time differences by recognising the changes of costume.
There are many inexplicable ingredients within the plot - a photograph of an old woman who attacks Lila in the village square, the puzzle of Victor's lost wedding ring and a special dress to which he has a bizarre reaction.
Award-winning playwright Samantha Wright has a knack for constructing interesting colloquial dialogue which is obviously relished by the two principals.
Susan Bracken as Lila/Tessa handles her double role well - managing to make tiny differences in her delivery as each one. Royce Cronin is convincingly neurotic as Victor.
Both are believable as characters and Zak Rowlands has the small but telling role as Officer Tooley.
All good fun, it would make a great movie!
Until May 3.