Theatre Review: Terminus @ Young Vic

Franco Milazzo
By Franco Milazzo Last edited 95 months ago
Theatre Review: Terminus @ Young Vic

Somewhere in modern Dublin, a serial killer makes a pact with the devil and a Samaritan takes on a gang of lesbian amateur abortionists while angels and demons fight over the soul of a young girl who has walked into an impromptu sex party aboard a crane.

Written and directed by Mark O'Rowe, this award-winning production has more going for it than a giant lightbulb in Mothville. The dark plot is a rich fantasy which doesn't lack in drama, emotion or ambition and is brought vividly to life by its unique execution. Three unnamed storytellers (played by Catherine Walker, Declan Conlon and Olwen Fouéré) stand on stage and take turns providing first-person monologues which slowly merge into one shared story.

The prose is a marvel in its own right. Imagine Alan Bennett's Talking Heads rewritten by Irvine Welsh then delivered with the robust rhythm and rich rhyme of a Tipperary-born Jay Z.  We can think of 99 reasons to see this and the script is definitely one: there's strong language here but there's even stronger imagery invoked with no props other than O'Rowe's words and the audience's imaginations. In the pitch-black theatre with the spotlight on the speaker, there's really no choice but to jump aboard this crazy and occasionally gruesome joyride fueled by V8 invective as we hear of slashed throats, broken hearts, gouged eyes and lovemaking so intense that even Prince would be jealous (and, like Terminus' demons, not a little horny).

Like a Mack truck commandeered by Germaine Greer, this play has a macho delivery but a very feminine centre, covering as it does issues including pregnancy, boyfriends and a mother-daughter relationship. Whether this makes it the ideal date event, we don't know, but if you do take someone there, please let us know what you thought of it.

Terminus continues at the Young Vic until 16 April.


A video of Mark Rowe discussing Terminus

Last Updated 07 April 2011