Per Olov Enquist's involved psychodrama about a disturbed young murderer's relationships with God and a neutered tomcat is given an assured production by Inner City. William Oxborrow as "the boy" writhes, fidgets and gestures disquietingly, tapping into a vein of autism; as the story unfolds, his "you don't understand anything" ripostes (to a pastor called in to attempt to understand his behaviour) eerily suggest the dark side of Private Pike: someone whose personal logic is impenetrable and impregnable.
The pastor's is a reactive, catalytic role – to question, listen, and try to make sense – and Deirdre Doone admirably refrains from pushing her character forward. The same cannot be said of Shona Morris as the researcher who, try as she might, can never quite stop acting. Her insistent performance weakens two sides of the dramatic triangle, but drama isn't mathematics and the third side remains greater than the sum of the other two – the strange rapport which arises between boy and pastor, so affecting the latter that she eventually quits the church. A fine, thought-provoking play to take the curtain down on the Latchmere at its current venue.
Written for City Limits magazine.
Copyright © Ian Shuttleworth; all rights reserved.
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