02 October 2008

Paradise Regained by Mark Ravenhill

.........an epilogue to Shoot/Get Treasure/Repeat

Matt - Zubin Varla
Tom - Tom Riley
Adam - Patrick Knowles

DIrected by Mark Ravenhill and using the set designed for Now or Later.

I sat next to Zubin's parents and we were surrounded by a mass of students that were having the MOST vacuous conversations about their gap years and it frightened me that people who were clearly in their later teens and had been in full education, had no comprehension political geography beyond having 'heard that Thailand is really, really, really, really nice'. I despair.

Enough of that. When Mark gets it right, it's wonderful. As an epilogue to a mixed bunch of pieces, this is pitch perfect.
No matter that an old hormonally challenged woman gets to see not one, but two lovely young actors with few clothes on than can be comfortable in the present climate.

Matt has a lovely apartment. He's a made man but then who is this that enters in such a state? He is clearly familiar to Matt but unexpected. Tom is Matt's lover of 15 years ago. He was killed in the first Gulf War and is presented to us covered in muck and blood which I have to say I thought was brown and red paint until the dialogue informed me. He longs form Matt to hold him and to kiss him. Matt has moved on. His moral stance has changed beyond recognition and he has become very successful. Tom leaves the stage to take a shower and Matt's current boyfriend returns from a swim. He is clearly using Matt for everything he can get and Matt needs him because nothing can really replace Tom.........well the success and affluence can but Adam does not fulfill his emotional needs. it's a rather piteous piece but it's brevity gives it such a lasting impact.

Wonderful performances from all involved.