The Collector | The Vaults | Review

The Vaults | August 2nd – 28th 2016

The Collector

The Collector | Review


Boy meets girl; boy stalks girl; boy wins lottery; boy imprisons girl in his basement. We’re all familiar with the story.

When aspiring thespian Frederick Clegg first lays eyes on Miranda, the talented art student who comes into the job centre where he works, to sign on, he knows that she is the only girl in the world for him. However, rather than following the traditional pathway of courtship and, say, asking her out for a drink, he decides to imprison her in the basement of his secluded country manor, purchased with the winnings of his lottery ticket.

Daniel Portman and Lily Loveless in The Collector (c) Scott Rylander (3)

What ensues, in Mark Healy’s adaptation of John Fowles classic 1963 novel, feels more like the precept for a dark comedy house-share, than a chilling thriller. Daniel Portman’s (Game of Thrones’ Podrick Payne) hand-wringing Clegg brings is decidedly un-threatening and very rarely feels like an actual predator. Lily Loveless (star of Skins) is endearing as the captive heroine who tries to reason Clegg out of his obsession with her.

Daniel Portman and Lily Loveless in The Collector (c) Scott Rylander (1)

What Healy’s production sacrifices in thrill-factor, it makes up for in warmth and social commentary – the play at times feels more like a social satire than a classic Bluebeard tale. Class boundaries strain as Frederick struggles with himself, and Miranda attempts to cure Frederick of his idolization of her, and the world which she inhabits.

All in all, The Collector is an enjoyably disturbing watch, peppered with dark humour and occasional moments of poignancy. Host to Alice’s Adventures Underground, The Vaults theatre provides the perfect setting for this sensitive adaptation of John Fowles’ classic novel.


Reviewer : Jasmine Crellin


The Collector is being performed  August 2nd 2016 – August 28th 2016 at The Vaults Theatre,Launcelot Street, London SE1 7AD.

Performances are Tuesday – Saturday, 7.30pm, Matinees Saturday at 2.30pm & Sundays at 4.00pm


Ticket Price £18-£12.50/£10 (concessions)
Box Office   online