Review: The Fastest Clock In the Universe @ Hampstead Theatre

By clairecooke Last edited 104 months ago
Review: The Fastest Clock In the Universe @ Hampstead Theatre

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The Fastest Clock in The Universe
Taking place in a more lyrical, slightly jilted universe, The Fastest Clock in the Universe centres on the Orton / Halliwell esque relationship between an ageing 'James Dean' known as Cougar Glass and the sweaty, balding, bird obsessed Captain Tock. They share a flat above an old fur factory in the East End that appears somewhat haunted by the animals once slaughtered there and it soon becomes clear what Tock will do to protect his preening peacock who has a taste for young boys.

Philip Ridley's play premièred at Hampstead Theatre in 1992 whereon he was already linked with names such as Mark Ravenhill, Sarah Kane and other gobby young playwrights who made their impact on the stage as much as the YBAs did in art. Ridley's work, although set in an equally dystopian world, hosted grander speeches and was more character based.

This revival marks the stage début of Jaime Winstone who almost brings the house down as the tottering poisoned doll Sherbet Gravel, achieving a rhythmical menace as Cougar's arch rival that is both wearing and fascinatingly grotesque in equal measures. However, for us, Eileen Page's cameo as a fur-clad landlady / prophet was the most finely tuned performance of an extremely entertaining night.

Fastest Clock offers vividly disturbing imagery and involved storytelling interwoven into a very dark but very honest tale - pushing the boundaries of much contemporary theatre. It illustrates quite clearly the cruelty people will except or exert on others for material pleasure or gratification and is well worth a visit.

The Fastest Clock in the Universe plays at the Hampstead Theatre until 17th October, 7.30pm

Last Updated 24 September 2009