Found111, London – until 17 December 2016
“They fuck you up, your mum and dad” wrote Philip Larkin and it is precisely that sentiment that sits squarely at the heart of Sam Shepard’s Fool For Love currently playing at Found 111. The derelict former college, perched aloft the building site that currently masquerades as the Charing Cross Road, is an appropriately stark setting for this bleak piece of modern Americana.
Shepard’s 1980’s work stunned audiences on both sides of the Atlantic and it makes a well timed return, his two young adults struggling with the unspeakable complexities of their desire.
Adam Rothenberg and Lydia Wilson are Eddie and May, the one-time lovers who can’t seem to tear themselves apart. As Eddie speaks of his dreams of a ranch in Wyoming, it becomes increasingly, devastatingly, clear that the couple’s emotional landscape is likely to prove as barren and unforgiving as the Mojave Desert surrounding the shabby motel in which the entire 75 minutes action plays out.
Rothenberg and Wilson are commanding in their portrayal of passion and pain. They are well served by Joe McGann’s Old Man, a leathery, gnarled cowboy with a secret, whose spirit hovers over the entire work. It is down to Luke Neal’s Martin, a bumbling, regular kinda guy in innocent pursuit of May, to open a yawning chasm of horrors.
Simon Evans directs thoughtfully (even if his doors slam too loud, too often) in this classy conclusion to the Found 111 season.