The 21st Anniversary Production of Philip Ridley's Contemporary Classic.
It's Cougar's birthday. He's having a party. And the gift he'd kill for is... youth. In a strange room in East London the party preparations are under way. The festivities are planned with detailed perfection - the specially made cake, the neatly written cards and the imminent arrival of a hand-picked guest of honour... Surely nothing can go wrong?
The stakes are high and the tension is wound up to number eleven in Tom O'Brian's superbly cast and punctiliously executed production. Gripping nasty and without remorse, Joshua Blake (Cougar) cuts a devastatingly handsome and brutal predator alongside the seemingly avuncular Ian Houghton (Captain); played with deep longing and misguided obedience. Dylan Llewllyn (Foxtrot) and Nancy Sullivan (Sherbet) are, seemingly, the flies caught in the web, full of the wonderful petulance of youth, cocky, brash, beautiful, know-it-all innocence. Little can they know that real evil exists in the world - that evil is embodied in Cougar. Their innocence is snuffed out in an act of remorseless horror quicker than the snuffing out of candles on the 'birthday boy's' traditional cake. Humour turns to blood-curdling tragedy in the flick of a light switch. Overseeing and this orgy of time-control is the ephemeral Ania Marson (Cheetah Bee); calm, collected… terrifying!
All this takes place in a dirty claustrophobic cell-room designed by Emily Harwood, eerily and atmospherically lit by Derek Anderson. A creative team perfectly met to imagine this 21st anniversary production with an ensemble of actors fated to realise it. Funny. Foul. Fabulous.