The week has come to an end, and the final play I had the pleasure of watching was, ‘The Crimson Retribution’. As a volunteer at this festival, and because I’m such a rebel, I liked to simply shorten it to, ‘Crimson’. Or maybe I’m just lazy… Or maybe I struggled to pronounce the last word… I’ll leave you to decide which.
So, ‘The Crimson Retribution’ (said in a superhero strong manly voice) follows the story of a superhero freeloading in another woman’s house, with retribution to seek. However, I would say there wasn’t much dramatic story to follow. You kind of just sat and watched them ‘be’. But before you judge this play, you need to understand there are other things that make it a ‘must see’.
Before I let you in on the gossip, I should let you know what I endured, just so I could get to see it and review it for you lovely readers. (if there are any) I firstly pretty much pleaded to sit in. One volunteer front of house always has to sit in. But as you are probably aware, this show was a constant sell out! So my chances were slim. But not slim enough, as I was granted entry in to this prestigious event!
BUT. And it’s a big but. I had to hold the door closed. It was faulty. This big, heavy, squeaky door was faulty. So within 5 minutes of lights down, my arms were aching. I had to constantly shift to relieve them of the pressure. My muslces were bulging after 60 minutes. My weight training for the decade that was!
Oh, you think it stops there? No, no, no, no. There was a huge pillar structure standing right in view of the stage. The most inappropriate block of bricks I have ever come across. I had to duck, dive and lunge every different direction to simply watch the action! But I went through it for you lovely reader(s)…
Back to the review.
The first thing I noticed was the excellent use of projection, something I criticised ‘Rainbow Connection’ for. They maybe should have took notes from ‘Crimson’ as it really added to the play. It helped show change of scene, venue and time. It was cleverly drawn in comic book style too! The bonus of a comic strip without the bore of reading it. Watching the action on stage was much more fun!
Something else that made it special was the variety of locations we were taken to in just one environment. We were not limited to the living room of the house. The characters performed outside, in cars and in pubs through using the space on stage. I liked being transported over to the door step of an old woman, were Kyle and Sean were successfully scamming her. Wait, that sounded wrong. I don’t agree with the scamming, I agree with the inventive scene structure. I particularly liked the sofa which transformed into a car.
Another cleverly written (Steve Pearce) and directed (Clare Howdon) aspect of this play, were the time passing scenes. Imagine a montage in a film, well this is the same but on stage. The actors mimed specifically choreographed actions, interacted with each other and successfully portrayed weeks passing. I felt like the writer and director really played around with the possibilities of theatre. Straight drama plays are great, but this show was as varied as a drunkenly mixed cocktail at your work leaving do! And we cannot deny enjoying treats like that every now and again.
Regarding the characters, two stood out for me. The superhero Crimson (Paul Sockett) gave the play most of the witty humour. I would describe him as Mary Poppin’s stronger, cooler brother. He regularly cleaned the house, made tea and settled arguments gracefully. He also wouldn’t leave until his job was done. Is that how you imagined a superhero? Me neither. He’s practically perfect in every single way. (Marys Poppin’s reference if you didn’t ‘get it’) The actor, Paul Sockett was brilliantly versatile, evolving into many different characters and performing them with confidence.
Kyle (David Degiorgio) played the typical villain. He was most definitely the ‘baddie’ of the play. I would like to commend Degiorgio on his appropriate physicality. He had an exaggerated walk, claw like finger extensions and smug look on his face. He played this character with focus on the body and facial expression. Great actor. Very well performed!
Overall an inventive and inspiring idea, with modern twists on how to bring scripts to life on stage! Entertaining, current and unique! I think it’s a great first timer show for theatre virgins too!! Give it a go and you’ll be hooked!