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REVIEW: QUILLS Write Out Loud

By on October 28, 2012 | Category: Blog | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments
Review by Alain English on 27th October 2012
After their West End debut with Mario Vargas Llosa’s “La Chunga” last year, Second Skin Theatre raise the bar up another level with this production Doug Wright’s “Quills”.  There will be some in the audience familiar with the movie of the same name starring Kate Winslet and Geoffrey Rush.  Indeed, one suspects that the titular character in the play, the Marquis de Sade who delights in tales of obscenity, sex and violence would have thrived in the modern world.  Hell, he might even be writing for the tabloids covering the Jimmy Saville case, a story that would have suited him perfectly.  So in this respect the production is well-timed.
The play relates the incarceration of the Marquis de Sade in a French lunatic asylum, and the effects his salacious writings and defiantly rebellious attitude have on his supposed reformers.
Bravely standing in for his leading man Peter Glover, director Andy McQuade assumes the role of the Marquis.  He brings a really physical arch humour to the role, embracing the character’s innuendoes with a relish that made me think of the Joker from Batman.  His supporting cast ranging from Nika Khitrova as tragic maid Madeleine and Chris Brown as the doomed Abbe de Coulmier all fit into the macabre grotesque atmosphere of the piece.
Mike Lee’s splendid set, laid out out lengthways on the basement of the White Rabbit Club, gives a perfect stinking sordid backdrop to the actors that really involves the audience – this is as intimate as theatre really gets.
Running to the 11th November, “Quills” is a perfect winter treat. Recommended.
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