Friday, 20 June 2014

Theatre review: Klook's Last Stand

There's a film noir-ish feel to Klook's Last Stand but it's a tongue-in-cheek one, as the snappy back-and-forth in the bar where the leading man picks up the leading lady is present and correct, but it's a juice bar and Klook (Ako Mitchell) is buying Vinette (Sheila Atim) a carrot juice (hold the ginger.) An ex-con who's drifted around the USA getting fired from a number of jobs, Klook's journey has led him here to a much younger woman, who may be his soulmate or even his salvation. Ché Walker's play with songs follows the pair's spiky but mutually supportive relationship, the two actors backed by Rio Kai on guitar, keyboard and double bass. The skeletons in both their pasts threaten their relationship but those in Klook's could present a much more literal threat when his creepy boss takes a shine to Vinette.

The play is quite a tender story of people who have very little in the world but find happiness and confidence in each other; but an early appearance by Chekhov's gun is a sign that things are likely to take a darker turn.


Walker directs the production himself, a risky strategy as I've mentioned recently but he keeps things simple, playing to the strengths of his cast who have a glint in their eyes and soulful singing voices. The songs by Walker, Anoushka Lucas and Omar Lyefook are pretty and sometimes moving, although they're all ballads and a couple of them start to all blend into one another.


It's a short but strong evening overall though, the characters - Vinette in particular - speaking in a slightly heightened style that lends something of a lyrical quality to their tragic love story, making for an intimate, intense evening.

Klook's Last Stand by Ché Walker, Anoushka Lucas and Omar Lyefook is booking until the 6th of July at Park Theatre 90.

Running time: 1 hour 35 minutes straight through.

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