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The Herald
The Bedsit
Assembly Rooms
10 August 1999
 

For all the play’s intricate plotting, writer Paul Sellar would not seem averse to the odd broad stroke, and it doesn’t take long to realise that the painting of huntsmen and hounds that decorates retired gunman Brady’s bedsit has symbolic resonances. Brady is a fox, and a wily old one at that. His hunters will find this out but first they determine to harry their prey, and Gerard Rooney and James Hartman as the two young terrorists are intimidating and pathetic in measure. This power game belongs to Brady, and James Ellis in the central role forcefully captures a man who wants to be, and better be, left alone. The naturalism in the piece may be as heightened as the stakes, but the tension is very real: the landscape of this bloodsport may be Irish, but the field is common land, exploring character rather than political conflict. You won’t find much tauter on the Fringe.

Robert Thompson