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Theatre Review: BASH - Barons Court Theatre, London ✭✭✭

BASH

Latter day plays by Neil Labute
Starring James Le Feuvre and Faye Winter
Designed by David Shields
Directed by Olivia Rowe


Wednesday 6th June: BASH is a play consisting of three separate dark tales of how ordinary people end up committing murder as a result of life experiences, their upbringing and society around them. James Le Feuvre and Faye Winter perform convincing and hard-hitting roles that captured the audience from start to finish. 

James Le Feuvre opened the show with a monologue about a religious family man who was tricked by a mate into thinking he was loosing his job, through worry and turmoil this persuaded him to abandon his suffocating baby and watch it die. I felt this performance was capturing but at times a little slow. I felt the actor who was meant to be talking to someone about his experience successfully conveyed this and I particularly enjoyed the clever way in which they had a glass of wine which, as if by magic emptied by the end of the speech. The ambience of the theatre contributed enormously to the effect of the performance and I really enjoyed being in a theatre that was so different to the big auditoriums that most of us are used to in London. Set in the cellar beneath the ‘Curtains Up’ pub, it was the perfect setting for tales of murder and taboo. Having the audience in the round surrounding the actors also added to the creepy sense of suffocation.

Faye Winter & James Le Feuvre
Photo by Caire Billyard
The second act was a duologue telling the story of a couple and in particular the male characters encounter with a homosexual man in a park in Manhattan. The audience are made to believe that the characters denial of his own sexuality causes him to feel hate and anger towards a gay couple in the park, this results in him and his thuggish friends beating up the man until he is dead. This performance from the acting duo was affective and captivating. The reenactment was skillful and I felt the two fed off each other well and kept the audiences attention throughout. The emotions from each character were conveyed well and through action and dialogue shocked at the right moments.

The third and final act was a monologue performed by Faye Winter. This was the last act and my favorite part of the play. I Faye Winter’s performance was entertaining and extremely convincing. She captured the characters emotion well and even though she was telling a story of how she murdered her child she created a feeling of empathy from the audience and was extremely engaging.

Overall the performance was strong but I felt at times the female over shined the male lead, although the stories were quite heavy going it was an enjoyable evening bar a few awkward moments due to lighting and prop moving. The design was simple but very effective, I particularly liked the red color representing blood and adding to the theme of unsettlement to the production. I would highly recommend the venue as I felt it was such a nice change of scenery as well as comfortable and intimate space, although I wouldn’t necessarily go back to see this particular play.

3 out of 5 stars. ✭✭✭

Review by Camilla Marlow

Listings Info:

Performances: Tuesday 5th June-Sunday 17th June (7:45pm)
Admission: £15 (£12 concession)

Venue:
Barons Court Theatre
The Curtains Up
28a Comeragh Road
London
W14 9HR

Box Office: 02089324747

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