Writer-actor Chris Thorpe has made a buzz in fringe venues and been championed by none other than celebrated dramatist and tutor Simon Stephens as an 'exceptional' talent whose work shows 'a ferocious directness and a brilliant playfulness'. Unfortunately, the best thing we could say about the production, was that at least it was short.
On stage, two figures known only as Man and Woman enter a sitting room (designed by Chloe Lamford, but which looks like an attractive Ikea showroom) and go about their evening, ordering pizza, playing on a playstation and making sandwiches for tomorrow's lunch, all the while engaging in two totally separate and baffling monologues.
It's impossible to stay engaged with the three stories at once. Trying to keep up with what the couple are doing in their living room and follow the two speeches, both of which are constantly interrupted as the two figures maddeningly cut one-another off mid-thought, is a hard task.
The man, we assume, is a sniper somewhere, trained to fight female freedom fighters, and madly in love with the women he's shooting. Meanwhile, the woman has had a brain haemorrhage on a station platform on her way to work, and sees visions of people in far away places suffering in violence and living in poverty.
The two actors, under Featherstone's direction, are excellent. Sharon Duncan-Brewster looks open-eyed into the audience, as she goes about her evening. Jonjo O'Neill's Irish lilt and blank expression softens the appalling pictures he paints of a world in decay. Successfully memorising these long monologues is very impressive.
Although interesting in its uniqueness, this play is both bleak and confusing. Victory Condiction succeeds in showing us how unconnected we all are, but just not in the ways it wanted.
Victory Condition will run at the Royal Court Downstairs Theatre alongside B, alternating nights in rep. Some performances start at 7pm, others 9pm.
Click here to find out more about the Royal Court 2017 Season.
|What||Victory Condition, Royal Court review|
|Where||Royal Court Theatre, Sloane Square, London, SW1W 8AS | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Sloane Square (underground)|
05 Oct 17 – 21 Oct 17, Start time is either 7pm or 9pm
|Price||£12 - £38|
|Website||Click here to book via the Royal Court website|