He’s just an average member of the town who played football with his mates and often enjoyed watching the trains go by. Or so everyone thought before they knew the dark truth about The Many Crimes of Hector Cartwright.
Set in 1948 in a small town in northern England, a woman was found murdered on the railway tracks just outside of town. The horrifying scene shocked the local police, calling in an out-of-town detective to travel up from London to investigate the crime. When the friendly local, Hector Cartwright, gets pulled in for questioning, the investigation begins to open up untold cases from World War II.
The story of the play is interesting and well written with plenty of plot twists that keep the audience on their toes. Kieran O’Rourke’s style of writing two narratives, one in present and one in the past, made the investigation more interesting to watch unfold. The flashbacks of the women in France were teasers throughout the play that only gave bits and pieces of the truth of Hector Cartwright’s past. O’Rourke tied all the stories together at the end of the play, leaving the audience satisfied with knowing the truth about the murder.
The strongest actor on the stage was Jonathan Blakeley as Hector Cartwright. The rest of the company on stage had moments of hesitation with their lines or struggled to get the words out; thus, it resulted in stuttered words. Blakeley in the moments of the play where the stakes were at its highest, his performance as Cartwright was at its best. He was firm, resilient and shaken; all these were clear character choices for Cartwright. Most of the company appeared to be aware they were acting in a play, which caused the play to be less immersive or engaging for the audience.
The Many Crimes of Hector Cartwright is a fascinating story that was skilfully written with plenty of twists and turns. This play will bring back memories of World War II and the challenges those who suffered in the war had to face.
Review by Aly Chromy
Rusted Dust Theatre presents
THE MANY CRIMES OF
Written by Kieran O’Rourke.
Directed by Jessica Daniels.
The award-winning, Rusted Dust, return to London’s Vault Festival with their new play, The Many Crimes of Hector Cartwright.
1948. In a small northern village, the body of a woman is found late at night on a gloomy train track.
With no leads and little to go on, the police are stumped. Until a mysterious manuscript arrives in the morning post…
Play length: 1 hour 5 minutes. Suitable for ages 14+ @rusted_dust #HectorCartwright www.rusteddust.com
The Many Crimes of Hector Cartwright
1 – 5 March 2017
London SE1 7NN
Running Time: 60 minutes, no interval