Southwark Playhouse, London – until 10 March 2018
Monologues are very much the flavour of the start of this theatrical year. At the Royal Court, we have Carey Mulligan in Dennis Kelly’s brilliant Girls & Boys, coming hot on the tottering heels of Anoushka Warden’s My Mum’s a Twat, while at the Bush a season of solo plays is currently disturbing psyches with Monica Dolan’s B*easts.
Now the Southwark Playhouse is staging Angry, a series of six gender-neutral monologues by Philip Ridley, a master penman who has made the solo piece very much his own. And this show stars new talents Georgie Henley (The Chronicles of Narnia) and Tyrone Huntley (Jesus Christ Superstar).
The opening piece, performed by Huntley, is called Angry and its title sums up its emotional range. As the audience files in, both actors circle one another in a small pit, sizing up each other, each staring the other down. As the thumping barrage of drums that has been pounding in the background ends, the actors confront each other: “Who you looking at?” Then “Who you fucking looking at?”
Henley leaves the pit and Huntley turns his full aggression on the audience. He attacks us for watching him and then demands if we like the film Bambi. There’s a bit of screaming and some high-voltage pacing, a radiation of hatred. It’s a kind of 1960s anti-theatre — 10 minutes of prodding and provoking the spectators….