Southwark Playhouse, London – until 10 March 2018
Guest reviewer: Michael Moor
Polymath, poet, storyteller, songwriter, visual artist …and arguably one of Britain’s greatest living playwright’s, Philip Ridley’s work is always full of surprises. What else would you expect from the writer of The Pitchfork Disney, The Krays and Karagula?
His latest work Angry is a two-hander starring Tyrone Huntley and Georgie Henley and performed at the Southwark Playhouse. Angry is not so much a ‘play’ but rather a series of monologues/stories: ANGRY, OKAY, BLOODSHOT, DANCING, NOW and AIR. In them, we find a number of ‘Ridleyesque’ themes, ideas and sensibilities.
There are, for example, elements of ‘in-yer-face’ youth theatre, beautifully written and realised extended monologues and strong elements of storytelling. Where the audience is taken on a journey with twists, turns, flights of fantasy and darkness.
I particularly admired the truly theatrical nature of the writing, no sets, props or chairs required, sparse simple lighting and staged in the round – the skill, openness and vulnerability of the actor at the centre of the work – the audience ‘forced’ to engage, to visualise the locations as described by the actor and enter ‘His’ and ‘Her’ world.
Philip Ridley‘s dialogue is a gift for the actor, Ridley truly has an ‘ear’, his prose verges on poetry at times. This gift is seized upon by the charismatic Huntley and Henley – who give near-perfect performances.