Deadlock – August 2007


By: Peter Benedict

Directed by: Peter Benedict

Venue: Connaught Theatre

Date: Thursday 16th August 2007

This was a better class of thriller than we’ve seen for a while. I won’t give away the ending, but the storyline was based on previous thrillers, and used a lot of the plot of The Mikado. We saw quite a few of the twists before they came (sometimes just before), but it was enjoyable and well written, with some of the earlier apparent clunkiness (e.g. a rather fake Irish accent) explained by the later revelations.

The set reminded me of Wait Until Dark. It’s a basement studio, where a politician does his sculpture and entertains rent boys. The back door is self-locking, and there’s a large oven for baking the clay. We’re treated to a longish dissertation on the effectiveness of the Nazi incinerators, which were built by the same German company that designed this oven, so the evening gets off to a gruesome start. The politician (Simon Ward) also has a thing for sculpting appropriate punishments in order to “make the punishment fit the crime” – he has gluttony wearing a scold’s bridle. The oven gets well used during the play.

There’s also a wife, a PA, and a young man, and it all ends unhappily for the characters that are still alive. I suppose you could say it ends even more unhappily for those who die of course, but either way it was a good ending from my point of view. There was plenty of humour too, which made it all the better.

© 2007 Sheila Evans at

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