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Review of Philip Ridley’s Angry at The Southwark Playhouse

AngryLet’s start at the end, when my companion to the show turned to me and said, “I thought we were friends.” Because betrayed is a little of what I do feel, by a show that had all the ingredients – but ultimately shook them up and left them half-baked.

Philip Ridley’s Angry has really very little to tell you on the subject. Which I suppose, in a way, is infuriating. A set of six monologues that are gender neutral, they are performed with class by Georgie Henley and Tyrone Huntley. A star for each of you bright young things: you bring charm and dignity to what is often rather disinterested material.

It starts as it means to go on, with the first monologue, Angry, performed by Huntley. A tirade against the audience, uncomfortable but perhaps promising something which speaks to a bigger question. It’s followed by Okay, where Henley sparkles as an American vowing to eliminate the word “hesitate” and “ponder” from her vocabulary. Amusing, but again, to what end? Promises of some larger thought go thoroughly unanswered.

The two longest monologues are Bloodshot, performed by Huntley, and Air, performed by Henley, on the night of my viewing. This will switch tomorrow, but that won’t make much difference. Man or woman, these monologues are not plunging the depths of gender tensions – man or woman, I don’t feel as though new insight will come of it. They aren’t peeling back the layers of anything. They are opportunities for some marvellous acting, without any real sense behind it. Dancing is by far the weakest of the lot, a mere speck of a monologue, that doesn’t really have the time to explore or convey anything at all.

There are sprinkles of truly comedic brilliance, but they are sprinkles. Georgie Henley is endlessly charming, and she and Tyrone Huntley serve up such sensitive and intricate performances wherever the material allows for a
glimpse into anything. Which isn’t often enough, unfortunately. These are two heavy-hitting young performers, solid and compelling, delivering up lines at top speed, movement at highest thrust, filling space and sound expertly.

I have no doubt that there will be reviewers of this play who will sit here and tell you how electrifying and visceral this experience was. Don’t worry, the Emperor isn’t really wearing clothes. It’s safe to admit it amongst friends.

This is the play for those people who want to go to parties and try to work ‘phantasmagoria’ into casual conversation about the weather.

Angry? No, just confused.

2 gold stars

Review by Christina Carè

A spaceship hurtles towards a black hole. A book-loving couple flee a burning city. A bloodshot eye conjures up kisses and wild animals. The world premiere of Philip Ridley’s Angry is a menacing, magical, and darkly comedic collection of stories that vibrate with the lingering unease of our times.

Creative Team
Writer – Philip Ridley
Director – Max Lindsay
Designer – James Donnelly
Lighting – Cassie Mitchell
Sound – Jim Whitcher
Casting Director – Jane Frisby
Casting Assistant – Stephanie Hume
Producers: Jack Silver for Tramp and Hannah Tookey

Cast
Her – Georgie Henley
Him – Tyrone Huntley

Tramp presents the world premiere of Angry by Philip Ridley
14 Feb – 10 Mar 2018
https://southwarkplayhouse.co.uk/

Author

  • Christina Carè

    'Christina is just another Aussie in London, writing about the arts and signing up for all the weird performance productions the city has to offer. She is Content Editor at Spotlight and tweets from @christinacare.'

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1 thought on “Review of Philip Ridley’s Angry at The Southwark Playhouse”

  1. Wow, just searched reviews of this show because I saw it on Friday too and was captivated. Especially Dancing, which you didn’t seem to like.. I’m assuming this is the one set in a nightclub with the severed heads – I loved it !!

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