Monday, 27 August 2018

Killer Joe - Trafalgar Studios

I had a busy time, when I went to London  - decided that if I was travelling up to see 'Othello' I should find in a couple of other plays as well. So s well as 'Exit the King', and a second visit to 'The Lieutenant of Innishmore' , I also went to see 'Killer Joe', at Trafalgar Studios. 

I chose not to read any reviews ahead of time, so all I knew going in was that it it features Orlando Bloom in the title role, as a cop with a sideline as a contract killer.

The plot features the Smith family, poor 'trailer trash',  living in Texas. Son Chris (Adam Gillen) returns home desperate for money, as he urgently needs money to pay off a drug gang, after his  mother stole his cocaine and sold it for her own benefit. 

He suggests to his father, Ansel (Steffan Rhodri) that they hire Contract killer Joe Cooper (Orlando Bloom)  to kill his mother, who has life insurance of which Chris's sister, Dottie (Sophie Cookson) is the beneficiary. They could, he suggests, use the money to pay Joe, and split the balance 4 ways between themselves, Dottie, and Ansel's wife, Sharla (Neve McIntosh)

The problem is, Joe expects payment in advance, and the family have no money, so he negotiates instead to take Dottie, as payment on account...

Things do not end well for anyone.

There are excellent performances all round - Sophie Cookson is particularly impressive,  vulnerable and child-like, save when she is  unexpectedly alert and aware of her family's plans. 

Bloom is also very good, never letting you forget that this is a man willing to kill for money,and, despite the romantic veneer, to coerce a vulnerable woman into sex. Definitely not someone who you would want to get on the wrong side of!

 I was seated right round to one side, at the front, so was very close to the action, including getting an unexpected eye full of the various incidents of full nudity! 

Very interesting play, if somewhat disturbing  lots of sex, violence and just enough humour to relieve the grimness.

the run ended on 18th August.

No comments: