World Premiere: Angry (version 1 “She Follows Him”) by Philip Ridley
Southwark Playhouse until 10th March
Review by Michael Moor
Polymath, poet, storyteller, songwriter, visual artist …and arguably one of Britain’s greatest living playwright’s, Philip Ridley’s work is always full of surprises. What else would you expect from the writer of The Pitchfork Disney, The Kray’s and Karagula?
His latest work Angry is a two-hander starring Tyrone Huntley and Georgie Henley and performed at The Southwark Playhouse.
Angry is not so much a ‘play’ but rather a series of monologues / stories : ANGRY, OKAY, BLOODSHOT, DANCING, NOW and AIR. In them we find a number of ‘Ridleyesque’ themes, ideas and sensibilities. There are for example elements of ‘in-yer-face’ youth theatre, beautifully written and realised extended monologues and strong elements of storytelling. Where the audience is taken on a journey with twists, turns, flights of fantasy and darkness.
Photo Credit Matt Martin
I particularly admired the truly theatrical nature of the writing, no sets, props or chairs required, sparse simple lighting and staged in the round – the skill, openness and vulnerability of the actor at the centre of the work – the audience ‘forced’ to engage, to visualise the locations as described by the actor and enter ‘His’ and ‘Her’ world.
Philip Ridley‘s dialogue is a gift for the actor, Ridley truly has an ‘ear’, his prose verges on poetry at times. This gift is seized upon by the charismatic Huntley and Henley – who give near perfect performances.
With my former teaching hat on – I strongly urge any young actor who would like to see how to deliver a monologue, to watch and study these remarkable, playful, complicit, ‘open’ vulnerable and truthful performances.
The director Max Lindsay and the creative team of James Donnelly, Cassie Mitchell, Jim Whitcher, Anna Hunscott and Jane Frisby are all to be commended.
Photo Credit Matt Martin
At 85 mins this is a great night out, thought-provoking and entertaining, not to mention a great venue with one of my favourite bars to discuss the performance afterwards.
This is a 5 star night out at the theatre as far as I am concerned!
Great venue, great writing, great acting – what more do you want?
by Philip Ridley
Directed by Max Lindsay
Him: Tyrone Huntley
Her: Georgie Henley
Jack Silver for Tramp
Weds, 14th February to Sat, 10th March 2018 (Not Sundays)
Mon to Sat – 8.00pm (Tues & Sat Matinee – 3.30pm)
020 7407 0234
Philip Ridley developed Angry over a four-year period in a close partnership with director Max Lindsay.
“Phil and I started exploring things that made us, well angry, and the play sort of grew out of that.” says Lindsay, “We were drawn to this idea of what it means to be a man and to be a woman in the modern world, and where the differences are. Having the same words said by both a man and a woman over the course of the run will give the audiences the chance to see the how the same events can have a very different impact.”
Georgie Henley shot to worldwide fame aged eight when she was cast as the lead, Lucy Pevensie, in the Oscar-winning Chronicles of Narnia series. She took time out of acting to study English at Cambridge before returning to star opposite Ella Purnell in indie film Access All Areas.
Tyrone Huntley most recently reprised his critically acclaimed role as Judas in Jesus Christ Superstar at Regents Park Open Air Theatre for which he received a Olivier Award nomination and was featured by ES Magazine as one of 10 of London’s hottest new talents to watch in 2016. He also won the Evening Standard Award for Emerging Talent at last year’s Awards.
The show is being produced by Tramp, whose Offie-nominated production of Tennessee Williams’ Confessional broke Southwark Playhouse’s box office record last year for their studio space, The Little.
Jack Silver, Artistic Director of Tramp, said:
“It’s amazing to be back at Southwark Playhouse with such an incredible piece of writing. When I first read it I was just blown away, but it wasn’t until we started auditions that I realised quite how incredible Phil’s writing is. Seeing so many actors give their take on the monologues was mesmerising. It gives the actors a blank canvas and yet there’s a magnetic rhythm to the words.”