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Review: Vincent River, at Park Studio 90

Terrific performances in fast-paced production about a homophobic murder

29 March, 2018 — By Lucy Popescu

YOU may guess the ending early on, but Philip Ridley’s searing 2000 play about a homophobic murder still packs a powerful punch.

The lights come up on Anita (Louise Jameson), a middle-aged woman, tending Davey (Thomas Mahy), a hooded teenager with a black eye. Apparently, he has been following her for some time.

Since the death of her son, Vincent, a victim of a brutal hate crime, Anita has been trying to come to terms with her grief and conflicted feelings about his homosexuality.

Nervously playing with his lighter, Davey tells her how, together with his girlfriend, he discovered Vincent’s mutilated body in a disused urinal in Shoreditch.

Now, he can’t get the image of her dead son out of his head and hopes she can help him.

Gradually, aided by glugs of gin, fags and dope, their tongues loosen and a different story emerges. Jameson, in particular, conveys an array of emotions, encompassing guilt, loss and rage, with startling intensity.

Ridley’s writing is always memorable and, sadly, his harrowing subject remains just as relevant today. He is well served by two terrific performances and Robert Chevara’s fast-paced production.

UNTIL APRIL 14
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