Saturday, 13 June 2015
Theatre review: The Dead Monkey
Anthony Lamble's set may evoke a sunny beach but there's a lot of darkness in the play. But it depicts it in an unusual way, by regularly dipping into a sense of the surreal that make it feel like absurdist comedy before taking another murky turn.
The most bizarre comic moments usually revolve around appearances by the Vet (Charles Reston,) whose suggestions for disposing of the monkey's body include eating it, and who greets some of the couple's most appalling confessions as if they were commonplace.
I don't know if it's the writing or Hannah Price's production but I never felt the play's wild shifts of tone worked. It made for a show uncomfortable to watch in the wrong way, as one group in the audience were so obviously determined to treat it as a raucous comedy that even moments of misogynistic violence where received with warm chuckles. The Dead Monkey looks at a crumbling marriage through a uniquely odd perspective, an approach that can pay dividends. But in this case I found it curiously unengaging, and didn't care enough to want to get into its mindset.
The Dead Monkey by Nick Darke is booking until the 4th of July at Park Theatre 90.
Running time: 2 hours including interval.