In theatre company Clown Funeral’s vision of the future, convicted murderers are released into the custody of members of the public for rehabilitation.
Star rating: ***
Venue: Zoo Southside (Venue 82)
We witness the developing relationship between one such killer (Patrick Tobin) – always referred to bluntly as The Murderer, lest he try to leave his past misdeeds behind him – and his appointed carer (Freddie Paul), who discovers there may be more to her new ward than his title suggests.
Luke Kennard’s script focuses on small, human moments between the two – The Murderer’s fondness for badminton or dancing, for example – while continually interrupting the two leads with check-ups from overbearing, passive-aggressive bureaucratic institutions (personified by a manic Sam Thorogood).
Both Tobin and Paul play their parts with a measure of distance – neither ever fully lets their guard down – which, while suited to both the narrative context and the stark, unwelcoming set design, means we only ever engage with the play on an intellectual level; there’s never an emotional connection. It’s worth noting that this may change depending on what night you go – the five-strong company revolve and play different roles on different nights, so a certain combination of players might more successfully get to the heart of the thing.
Until 29 August. Today 6pm.