by Eddie Elks.
Old Red Lion Theatre 418 St John Street EC1V 4NJ To 6 February 2016.
Tue-Sat 7.30pm Mat Sat 2.30pm Sun 3pm.
Runs 1hr No interval.
TICKETS: 020 7837 7816.
Review: William Russell 16 January.
The fascinating bedbound life of an artist.
This is a bizarre and totally intriguing affair, about the artist Roger Hilton (1911-1975) who, for the last two years of his life took to his bed (with a muscular disease) in the studio of his cottage at Botallack, Cornwall.
Painters are peculiar people, often suspicious of the world’s motives, jealously protecting their work, and occasionally drinking to excess. Hilton was no exception to the rule of sorts that great talent, even genius, can prove to belong to people who are difficult to cope with.
We find him asleep in a cluttered studio. He wakes, lights a cigarette and starts to talk to himself. The thoughts are random. He starts to paint, he listens to the radio which assumes a personality of its own, chiding him, arguing, making pronouncements.
Things progress. There is a bear in the wardrobe whose purpose is not quite clear.
Roger is beautifully performed by Dan Frost as a large, slightly lumpen, none too clean hulk of a man, and George Haynes as the voice on the radio complements him perfectly. This is an enthralling hour of off-the-wall theatre.
Roger: Dan Frost.
Radio: George Haynes.
Director: Eddie Elks.
Designer: Ken McClymont.
Lighting: Christopher Naime.
Sound: Liam Welton.