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Roseacre

Written and directed by Michael White

Square Peg Theatre

HOME, 15 January 2016

Roseacre

This one turned out to be an engrossing, well-acted contemporary crime drama: top-notch entertainment.

The set-up involved a big, powerful and no doubt heartless company doing fracking explorations in an English village, name of Roseacre. There are protests and demonstrations from residents and environment groups and, after one of these demos, a murder.

As the investigation winds on, it reveals – guess what? – venal human motive. You get a vital rendering of familiar noir characters and situations: a malign love triangle, an undercover cop gone native, another cop on the take. My favourite character was a Slavic prostitute, a woman who’s seen and done it all and has no high opinion of men.

What I found most impressive about the production was the versatile use to which the relatively small stage was put. The space of Theatre 2 is smaller than the main theatre, kind of like the Green Room’s used to be. Here it became a claustrophobic police interrogation room, a wood where a rogue cop pursued his escaped captive and lots of locales in between: a crime scene, a florist’s shop, even a car. Not only a versatile but a convincing use of the stage – and, well, jildy scene changes.

Here is an innocent question: what would film or theatre be without the handgun? What other device or instrument could take its place? This question prompted in part by Roseacre‘s terrific ending; it ends with a bang, in fact.

Roseacre is playing at HOME tonight at 8pm, details here.

Other plays in the PUSH festival can be viewed here.

For details of Square Peg Theatre’s future productions go here.

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