‘Compelling & gripping drama that packs a punch’: KOMPROMAT – Vault Festival ★★★★★

In Festivals, London theatre, Opinion, Plays, Reviews by Rev StanLeave a Comment

The Vaults, London – until 3 February 2019

The 2010 ‘spy in the bag’ murder is the inspiration behind Kompromat, a new play by David Thame which imagines the murderer using a honey trap to ensnare his victim.

A two-hander, the story is told through a series of monologues and flashbacks primarily through the eyes of Zac (Max Rinehart) who picks up Tom (Guy Warren-Thomas) at a club.

When we first meet Zac, he is talking directly to the audience while conducting a clinical cleanup of Tom’s flat. There is a note of regret, tinged with frustration when he says: “You should have done what you do best’.”

What Tom does best is work for MI6 but he’s green, just arrived from GCHQ and dazzled by London’s gay scene – or is he just feeling lonely and turning a blind eye to rookie hitman Zac’s missteps?

The performances ooze with sexual tension and sensuousness; the backdrop is an atmosphere of isolation and threat and it is this combination which elevates Kompromat above your average spy thriller.

There is a sadness and tragedy to both murderer and victim. Threat and danger haunts them both, as does an ache of loneliness beyond the physical to the need for a meaningful connection.

There are a smattering of witty lines which add brief moments of humour as the tension grows, making for a compelling and gripping drama. Kompromat packs a lot of punch in its 60 minutes and is at the Vault Festival until 3 February.

I’m giving it ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.

Read more about Kompromat in this interview with director Peter Darney.

Kompromat was also one of my 9 hot theatre tips for 2019.

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Rev Stan
Revstan really is a reverend (it's amazing what you can buy on the internet) but not a man (the Stan bit is a long story). By day, she is a freelance editor and copywriter; at night, she escapes into the world of theatre and has been blogging about it at theatre.revstan.com since 2007. She says: “I'll watch pretty much anything, from something performed on a stage the size of a tea tray to the West End and beyond. The only exception is musicals. Tried 'em and they just don't do anything positive for me.”
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Rev Stan
Revstan really is a reverend (it's amazing what you can buy on the internet) but not a man (the Stan bit is a long story). By day, she is a freelance editor and copywriter; at night, she escapes into the world of theatre and has been blogging about it at theatre.revstan.com since 2007. She says: “I'll watch pretty much anything, from something performed on a stage the size of a tea tray to the West End and beyond. The only exception is musicals. Tried 'em and they just don't do anything positive for me.”

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