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24:7 Reviews: Firestarter

Kevin Bourke is shaken and stirred by the Dave Windass play

Published on July 25th 2012.


24:7 Reviews: Firestarter

AS the enterprising (and very well worth a visit) Three Minute Theatre is also hosting the performances of Michael Crowley's searing The Cell, I can only imagine that passers-by on Oldham Street must be starting to get used to the sight of shell-shocked 24:7 audience members wandering out after performances.

Intense as the play is, it would fail to terrify the audience if the performances weren't up to scratch. They are…so be afraid, be very afraid.

This is tough stuff, make no mistake about it.

Set against the backdrop of a notorious series of arson attacks that took place in Hull four decades ago, Dave Windass' Firestarter initially looks as if it's going to be a one-man show, exploring the dark recesses of the mind of arsonist Peter (Andy Wilson), as he explains, not even to his own satisfaction, just why he takes such pleasure in burning things down and, not incidentally, killing men, women and children in the process.

This is upsetting enough but, unbelievably, things take a darker turn as we go into Part Two.

The volatile Tone (Richard Vergette), a man who positively exudes violence and cruelty, is with the voluptuous and clearly terrified, Annie (Zoe Matthews) after serving his time for some unspoken, but no doubt unspeakable, crime.

After boasting how easy it is to get into anyone's house, Peter has, it seems, stumbled into the wrong house at exactly the wrong time. Now he's tied up and with a hood over his head, listening with as much horror as the audience to the vile Tone tormenting Annie.

She, to paraphrase the great film-noir line, is someone he loves but he doesn't even like Peter. You just know this is all going to end badly, but the question is how badly.

Intense as the play is, it would fail to terrify the audience if the performances weren't up to scratch. They are…so be afraid, be very afraid.

The 24:7 Theatre Festival runs from 20 - 27 July. More than 70 performances will take place over eight Festival days in New Century House – head office of The Co-operative – and Three Minute Theatre, in Affleck’s Palace.  Find more information, show times and how to book tickets (£8 / £6) at: www.247theatrefestival.co.uk

 

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