by Peter Briffa
Three stars ***
The Hen and Chickens Theatre Bar, 169 St Paul’s Road, London N1 2NA to 20 August in Camden Festival.
Runs 45 mins No interval.
TICKETS 020 7704 2001.
Review: William Russell 18 August
A corkscrew of a thriller
Ray, a thirty something businessman, is made one of those offers by Bill, a man he meets in the car park of a shopping mall, that anyone with half a brain would refuse. Bill’s wife Julie, who is sporting crutches and one of those boots on a damaged foot, is an obsessive, he claims. She is crazy about shoes and about an old lover – who turns out to be Ray. Bill wants Ray to meet her, have an affair with her, and that ought to deal with the obsession.
Ray, who claims to be happily married, his vanity – he was alleged to be a wonderful lover – duly succumbs to temptation, meets Julie, and things proceed from there.
The twists and turns come in plenty, nothing is what it seems and the cast deliver the goods. Derek Hicks is all sinister bonhomie as the husband up to something, Fiona McKinnon makes Julie sympathetic, put upon and manipulative and Michael Wagner does Ray, the dumb fall guy, to perfection, although he needs to work on his voice projection. But it is his professional debut so that is advice, not criticism. Peter Briffa’s play does what is required of plays like these – keeps you guessing right to the end, which is not what you expect. That, of course, is as it should be.
Ray: Michael Wagner.
Bill: Derek Hicks.
Julie: Fiona McKinnon.
Director: Paul Blinkhorn.
Lighting Designer: Aaron J Dootson.