Belgrade Theatre review: Revenge
Revenge, Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, until Saturday. MP Bill Crayshaw arrives home from a foreign trip, rings his mate to talk about their dodgy business dealings, and calls his mistress to say he’ll be round soon. So far, so normal, but then he has a call from the police to say his election agent has died in a car crash, and a woman tricks her way past the doorman in his swanky Thames-side apartment. Mary Stewart claims to be a journalist but she knows far more about the agent’s death than the MP has been told, and then worryingly more about his business deals and his marital history. Plus she seems keen to damage his treasured art collection. Things spiral out of control leading to gunshots - and this is half an hour into the two-hour play. Beyond that it’s impossible to say more about the plot without giving away some of the twists, tricks, lies and revelations. This 1991 play by Robin Hawdon, and directed by Louise Jameson, feels dated, from its reliance on a fax machine as a plot device to the creepy efforts of the MP to seduce Mary just because she’s in his flat and fair game. Nigel Fairs is believable as the stereotypical smoothy MP who can lie as easily as breathe, but Kate Ashmead, as she struts and swaggers around, is hard to accept as the hard-nosed reporter she purports to be. The first half with its talk of insider dealing drags. The second half promises more but then unfortunately doesn’t deliver. This is the third venue on a long tour by the Crime and Comedy Theatre Company but this production of the play, described as the only thriller written by Hawdon, doesn’t come close to meeting that description.
Tickets from http://www.belgrade.co.uk/