Monday, 24 August 2015

Camden Fringe Review: Sexual Perversity in Chicago at Upstairs at the Gatehouse

Sexual Perversity in Chicago
Upstairs at the Gatehouse
Reviewed on Sunday 16th August 2015

I was lucky enough to catch the final performance of David Mamet’s Sexual Perversity in Chicago at Upstairs at the Gatehouse. Staged by the Prowl Theatre Company, the play begins on a very humorous level where the audience titter and shriek at the sex-mad 20-somethings in Chicago. 

An example of how black box theatre should be used, the cast offered a masterclass in delivering thought-evoking powerful performances with only four office chairs for set. They stripped back all the superficial details of the play and focussed in on the powerful combination of witty/risky writing and acting.

Sophie Spreadbury, Matt Howell, Tom Pritchard and Jo Hartland form the talented bunch of up-and-coming actors in this piece. They stayed on stage throughout. The play was slick (running at 50 minutes) and the scene changes were absolutely seamless.

The stand out moment was Prichard dishing the dirt on a recent hotel scandal to Howell’s character. The audience found it seedy, crude and utterly thrilling. You could feel the intensity of the atmosphere in the room - everyone was gripped from start to finish. People began to laugh less and gasp more as they watched the toxic relationships unfold before their eyes. 

The Prowl Theatre Company is an innovative new theatre company producing high quality and hard hitting work. This is a promising start of an exciting new company that are definitely ones to watch! 

Reviewed by Joanne Hewes

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