The Cage

5 Stars

*****

Thrillers, of course, are designed to be tense and compelling. Dugald Bruce-Lockhart’s new play, directed by Richard Baron, has these qualities in abundance. In the final moments (no details obviously), I was so caught up in the suspense I sensed the palms of my hands sweating.

The opening scene sees Dugald Bruce-Lockhart, who takes the lead role as Jack, entering an unoccupied flat. He addresses the audience to explain his presence there. It is Christmas Eve and he is in the flat of Jenna, who suddenly left him just before they were to be married. What makes matters worse is his discovery that she is in a relationship with Richard who was Jack’s best friend.

He engages the audience with a bit of mild banter but, when he produces a gun, it is clear the charm is superficial. Really, he is driven crazy with jealousy and he is determined to exact cold blooded revenge. Jenna (Penelope Rawlins) returns and wants him to leave immediately on the pretext she is hosting a dinner party. However, his questioning is relentless. A short time later, Richard (John Sackville) calls round with a Christmas tree. With the three characters now together for the first time since Jenna split form Jack, the tension builds and builds in stages as deep truths are revealed.

The acting and directing is of the highest quality. The raw emotions displayed by each character are completely convincing. This is contemporary drama at its very best.

Reviewed by Ben

Venue; Venue Number – Pleasance Dome; V23

Dates – 4 to 30 August 2010 (not 16, 23)

Times – 15.50 to 17.05

Fringe Programme Page Number: 236

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