The Local Stigmatic | Review
The main theme for The Local Stigmatic is very relevant for society today, which is the obsession with celebrity and fame. It does leave you with an uncomfortable feeling that you have just watched something quite unnerving and bleak.
Graham and Ray are two intelligent and articulate working class guys, who seem to spend their time in pubs and betting on the dogs. The opening scene shows Graham reacting to losing a bet at the races and his initial anger and apparent sense of being wronged sets the tone for the rest of the proceedings.
The two men have a strange relationship and interact with cryptic comments and glances and this does make following the dialogue quite difficult at times, which seems to be a deliberate act on the part of the writer Heathcote Williams. It does seem to highlight the relationship between the two men and how they feed off each other in a destructive way.
It is a very short play, intense and quite hard hitting at times but with some comic moments. The characters easily reveal their true psychotic natures as they head off to a pub that Ray was previously barred from. They then meet by chance a well known actor and decide to taunt, harass and eventually physically attack him. It becomes clear that Graham devours any information about celebrities and has a wealth of knowledge about this man and his circumstances and he uses this knowledge to good affect in the attack. Ray seems to be slightly dominated by Graham in moments of high tension and is happy to just follow his orders as he carries out the assault.
Wilson James gives a good performance as Graham but is at times a little over intense. Ray is well played by William Frazer.
Tom Sawyer gives a valid and convincing performance as the confused and luckless actor.
The lighting of the sparse set and the use of music enhances the intensity of the various performances and delivers at times an almost photogenic backdrop.
Reviewer : Lisa Felton
Photos (c) : Scott Rylander
The Local Stigmatic is playing at the The Old Red Lion Theatre EC1 until 28th May.
Tickets are available priced £14 available from Old Red Lion Theatre Box Office and www.oldredliontheatre.co.uk or 0844 412 4307