Stay With Me Till Dawn

Monday, 25th January 2010 02:18pm

Stay With Me Till Dawn – 5 stars

The wind howled through the dark cavernous set of the Rosemary Branch theatre as Nick, a young boy played by Matthew Haigh sneaks into a house. A creeping dread like the beginning of a ghost story assaults the audience before Redford played by the superb Peter Glover returns home to find the boy in this house. The set is defined with minimal ease, a sofa and chair, a table, a curtain hangs but no window exists behind it on the enclosing black walls.

Nick has fled his home and taken refuge in a place he never would if he had lost his innocence, in the house of John Redford, a man who is known for ‘liking boys’ and naively thinks he might like and help him. Before long Redford has his house broken into again, but this time by the boy’s father Lewis, played by David Swain who enraged, brings with him a knife. The two men physically and mentally wrestle with one another over who is the ‘bad man’ and who the hero, violently building to a conclusion that will stay with the audience long after the show stops. The strength of the Peter Glover conjuring the complex Redford so that the audience is genuinely disturbed is the play’s main strength. David Swain as Lewis handles the changing balance of power well and Matthew Haigh brings humanity to Nick as a child, despite being older than the part. Aside from one incongruous brief monologue to audience about death the play is compelling, disturbing and powerful.

Peter Carrington for remotegoat on Friday 25 January 2010

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