by Mark Whiteley.
Hard Graft Theatre Tour to 27 May 2010.
Runs 1hr No interval.
Review: Alan Geary: 27 May at Lakeside Arts Nottignham.
Insufficiently meaty for a stand-alone play; interesting all the same.
Considering this is from Hard Graft Theatre and it’s written and directed by Mark Whiteley, an old hand at comedy, there’s not a lot to laugh at in Knife Edge. In fact it’s not a comedy at all. It’s an all too topical tale about a knife murder on a Nottingham sink estate, though there’s nothing especially Notts about it.
They don’t sell you a programme. The idea is that it’s not a play you’re watching but the preparations for a presentation in a church hall or some such venue. The audience is therefore part of the event, which is set in real time – there’s a big clock on stage to remind you.
The stage is virtually bare but for a screen at the back with an image of Darren Shelton 1993-2010. Proceedings start with Brian (Howard Chadwick), father of the teenage victim, coming on to set a camera up. In due course we meet a hack (John Elkington) from the local paper – a worrying bit this, if you’re reviewing the thing for real – Brian’s wife Jane (Jill Myers), and a youth called Danny (Nicky Bell).
There’s not much wrong with the acting: it’s broadly excellent. The main problem is that, despite the thread of unpredictability and suspense that runs through it, the thing isn’t sufficiently meaty.
And it’s an interval-less hour in length, not the advertised ninety minutes. This has to be another reason you come out feeling that it’s ever so slightly on the slight side. Knife Edge might have been better as part of a double billing.
Brian: Howard Chadwick.
Reporter: John Elkington.
Jane: Jill Myers.
Danny: Nicky Bell.
Director: Mark Whiteley.