Please install Flash® and turn on Javascript.

Evening Standard
Arts Theatre

Darts on target

On paper, it’s not the West End’s easiest sell. A lone actor stands on a stage that is bare except for a chair resembling a ducking stool, and launches into a murky tale of darts and retribution. In verse. Is this an albatross we see before us?

But as the saying goes, this piece doesn’t happen on paper, but at the newly reopened Arts. It’s a considerable size of auditorium for just one performer; but Jonathan Moore steps up to the oche and has us gripped. His deadpan estuary accent provides a lovely counterweight to the deliciously baroque account of how one missed thrown dart, at the 1978 World Championships, comes to wreck a family.

Paul Sellar’s script wisely chops it’s rhythms about, as 75 minutes of tum-te-tum would have us plunging darts into our own eyes. He has a neat line in rhymes – “there’s a real Pro-Bobby lobby” – which director Yvonne Mcdevitt wisely makes Moore underplay, especially as the story hits its stark stride. There’s an almost Orestia like magnificence about this revenge cycle, offset by two hilarious extended sporting commentaries. One of the year’s most bleakly beautiful last lines explains that title in unexpected fashion.

Fiona Mountford