Theatre in Wales

Theatre, dance and performance reviews


The Creature

Company of Sirens , Chapter , October 1, 2019
The Creature by Company of Sirens Once again, Company of Sirens Artistic Director, Chris Durnall and writer Lucy Gough have combined to create a tense and exciting drama with an excellent group of actors.

“When someone kills, when their crime is so terrible and incomprehensible, can we still call them human? Who is to blame? Who and/or what creates monsters?
Taking Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein as inspiration, The Creature takes places in the mind and the prison cell of a young boy in a secure unit as he attempts to avoid taking responsibility for what he has done whilst also trying to understand it. Developed through work with young offenders, this specially commissioned play explores the origins of criminal behaviour and asks what is it that makes us monsters.”

The Creature lies tied in a knot of three young people but they are just one person, beneath a large steel table. They untie themselves and one takes up a seat at one end of the table with the other two standing behind him. The ‘leading’ son is played with remarkable strong conviction by Matt Reed, making his debut as an actor. Addresses us telling us he is trying to flee from a monster but it seems the ‘monster’ may lie within him.

He sits enclosed in a secure unit; his father has reluctantly agreed to visit him. Jams Thomas, always a very fine actor adds a calm intensity to the action. After a few short exchanges, he tells his son that he feels violated by what he has done. It appears that his son (The Creature) has murdered a young woman.

Two other actors, Jarred Ellis Thomas and Angharad Mathews, performing with the same rhythm as the writing give us a less intense version of the same son but they gradually fade from the central picture. Several times they approach a red board on the back wall and draw hearts and brains on it.

Lucy Gough has written this somewhat terrifying story with strong rhythms giving it the feel of a beautiful poem, a beautiful poem that has at its core a murderous activity. The son appears to be trying to place the blame for his sin on to his father.

As one might expect the father has been interviewed on the television to discuss his son’s crime. He accuses him of laughing during the interview. He responds sharply “What’s there to laugh about.” He challenges again asking him, “Why did you run away when I was born?” and telling him that it was all his fault. Father asserts No! “you made all of this happen”.

This lively father and son ‘banter’ continues to the end the play. The father – son relationship has been irreparably damaged.

Despite the unpleasantness that lies at its core Lucy Gough has given us a sparkling play and given us thoughts to reflect upon.

Performances: ‘til 5 Oct + 8 – 10 Oct

Reviewed by: Michael Kelligan

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