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West End Theatre Views
2Graves
Arts Theatre
 

The Arts Theatre reopened its doors once more with this unique monologue written in stylised verse.

The mastery of verse spoken as dialogue is a difficult accomplishment which has been brilliantly achieved by Jonathan Moore and adeptly directed with subtle and sometimes savage lighting effects on a bare stage with a chair that resembles, metaphorically, an electric chair especially when stage lights are electrically blue.

In a Cockney (south London working class) accent against stylised verse he tells how one misthrown dart in the 1978 World Championship became the cause of ruining his entire family which this young man has tried to revenge. Humour invades some very stark and grisly accounting of this tragic tale. If you seek revenge, is its moral, then dig two graves…one for yourself.

His revenge begins on a professional dart player Big Ron and his sidekick Mad Michael Franks which leads him into the East End underworld and paints a gory picture with characters like Jim the Knuckle or Sneaky Sid. His vivid telling of the rigged darts match that ruined his father’s dreams as champion or the rigged horse race that killed his hopes opens the world of criminal gambling.

He is mesmerising in the descriptions.

Because of a debt inherited from his late father, he gambles with his boss’s money and loses. And then just missing getting shot dead as a reprisal, he spends years in prison for taking the rap for the murder that saved him. He peels off layer by layer the making of a decent man into a brutalised thug. A red line of blood across his cheek symbolises his transformation at the end of the monologue.

Earth shattering. No import or export.

Blanche Marvin