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LETTERS TO EDITOR
A CurtainUp London Review
by Lizzie Loveridge
The play is a tight, well acted study of family obligation and ties with incidental, incongruous, high flown language used to provide some of the humour. Ché Walker's writing shows promise with the lyricism of some passages and therre are echoes of Joe Orton and even Pinter -- but the plot structure relies on switches which I found confusing rather than convincing.
Joseph (Michael Attwell) has been missing presumed dead when he comes to his step daughter Deirdra's (Tamzin Outhwaite) flat to find out where his son Vincent (Andrew Tiernan) is hiding from a powerful gangland family called the Caderazzos. At first suspicious, Deirdra thinks this stranger might be one of the Calderazzos. Vincent arrives having narrowly escaped his demise at the hand of the irate family. It seems that Rosie Calderazzo, a "special needs" girl has given birth and named Vincent as the father of her baby.
The giant figure of Joseph in his designer navy cashmere coat and dark suit encompasses both the tenderness of a loving parent and a man who can break all of the fingers on his son's hand while reciting the This Little Piggy rhyme. Throughout the play is the theme of blood being thicker than water and the idea that one can mete out justice to one's own.
Tazmin Outhwaite as Deirdra is a tense, agitated figure, every sinew bristling, quivering against the stranger. She lives in her shabby flat, "twenty floors above the madness" reading trashy novels, ready to pull a knife on any visitor but distancing herself from the gangland. She is a loner, a potential victim in this criminal society and she bears the psychological wounds just as her front door shows signs of having been reinforced after having been kicked in. Michael Attwell as Joseph captures his character's dichotomy. He is both attractive and repulsive, handsome and friendly but very, very dangerous and unpredictable. Andrew Tiernan's Vincent ("I'm a piss taker not an assassin") is a loser, a wastrel and a liar but vulnerable for all that.
Wilson Milan who was the director of the important blackly comic hit, The Lieutenant of Inishmore is at the helm The wide set is used in the Jerwood Upstairs to give a shallow playing area, a balcony to one side, a bathroom to the other. The flat is clean but the scuffed furniture and décor have seen better days. The play's ending has a certain Tarantino-type inevitability. Flesh Wound is one of those plays which I find I warm to as I write about them. That is to say I like it more now than when I came out of the theatre.
Mendes at the Donmar
Peter Ackroyd's History of London: The Biography
Somewhere For Me, a Biography of Richard Rodgers
At This Theater
Ridiculous!The Theatrical Life & Times of Charles Ludlam
The New York Times Book of Broadway: On the Aisle for the Unforgettable Plays of the Last Century
6, 500 Comparative Phrases including 800 Shakespearean Metaphors by CurtainUp's editor.
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