Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Killology | Sherman Theatre

Killology, a new play written by Gary Owen, tells the story of a controversial new gaming experience where players are rewarded for killing their victims in the most original and gruesome ways. While the creator of the game, Paul, harbours the philosophy that "it's just a game", Davey and Alan's experiences make us think differently. There has been such a big build up to this production - it is transferring to the Royal Court Theatre in London later this year - so I decided to check it out while it's being performed just minutes from my door here in Cardiff.

The play is essentially a series of many short monologues that, at first, seem unrelated, but as the play goes on the story builds and takes shape. There are a few interactions between the characters but essentially each actor takes it in turns to tell a short section of their version of the story. Each actor succeeded in holding the audience's attention and whether or not I was supposed to, I found myself warming to all three characters as they spoke to the audience, almost chatting their way through the story.

Sion Daniel Young had an instant likeability as Davey begins his story with tales of him as a child, and even as his story progresses I couldn't help but laugh at his jokes. Alan, played by Sean Gleeson, opens the play with a witty, well-composed speech but goes on to take us through a heart-breaking roller coaster of emotions, which was highly emotive in the Sherman's intimate space. On the surface the character of Paul is spoilt and cocky but Richard Mylan made his arrogance highly compelling and the moments of rage and anguish felt so authentic.

The performance earned a standing ovation and having sold out this two-week run at the Sherman, I think it'll do very well at the Royal Court Theatre. It's such an interesting production as there are moments of comedy interspersed through what is a darkly haunting story, and as director Rachel O'Riordan so perfectly puts it: "Killology is a vicious play in many ways, but has compassion and care for humanity at its heart". It's easily up there as one of the best original plays I've seen.

Killology is only running at the Sherman Theatre until Saturday so be sure to catch the production at the Royal Court Theatre if you're in London from the 25th May until the 24th June - check out their website for tickets and more details.


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