Theatre Review: Cry Me This (Vincent) River

Vincent River ★★★★★

Theatre Review: Cry Me This (Vincent) River Vincent River 5
Photo: David Monteith

The threat of violence is never far away for LGBT people. The battle for marriage equality may have been won (except in Northern Ireland), but homophobia is still rife. The Park Theatre's revival of Philip Ridley's 2000 play, Vincent River, which explores the aftermath of a particularly ferocious murder is depressingly relevant.

A young teen, Davey, arrives at the home of a middle-aged woman, Anita. He is sporting a black eye and has been following her for months. We quickly learn that Anita's son was killed by thugs in nearby toilets and that Davey found his body. In 85 tense minutes, both characters seek to understand this devastating crime and their relationships with the victim.

Thomas Mahy perfectly captures the tortured soul of a teen who, even in progressive times, still grapples with internalised homophobia. His frantic, unbroken monologue in the play's climax is particularly powerful. But it's the range of Louise Jameson's performance which truly astounds: an impeccable portrait of raw grief and guilt, reverberating with fear, tenderness and longing.

Robert Chevara directs with immense subtlety, circumspectly emphasising both the humour as well as the horror in Ridley's writing which moves seamlessly from the brutal to the poetic.

Shattering and deeply moving.

Vincent River, Park Theatre, Clifton Terrace, N4 3JP, £16.50-£18. Until 14 April

Last Updated 09 April 2018