VINCENT RIVER at Greenwich Theatre
Updated: Jul 7
To see a masterclass in acting, hurry along to Greenwich Theatre and watch Vincent River, Philip Ridley’s pulsating one-act drama about the consequences of hate crime.
The play is a two-hander that requires the full range of the actor’s art as its protagonists work their way through the stages of grief from anger to acceptance.
Kerrie Taylor is faultless as the mother of a boy, Vincent, who was murdered in a particularly gruesome homophobic attack. Over the course of 90 emotion-racking minutes, she moves with impeccable and heartbreaking credibility from a furious refusal to believe her son was gay to reluctant realisation and, finally, resolution.
And Brandon Kimaryo is nothing less than sensational as a young man who claims to have found the victim’s body but is in reality haunted by guilt and secrets. Kimaryo inhabits the part like a seasoned pro – yet, almost incredibly, this is his theatrical debut.
Ridley’s narrative is full of twists and turns which I’m not going to spoil for potential audiences. Suffice to say, it manages to be deeply human in the way the characters struggle against being overwhelmed by despair yet still find flashes of humour in the Stygian darkness of their situation. It’s not for the faint-hearted – but it’s never less than brutally honest.
Director James Haddrell skilfully keeps the tension ramped up to max throughout without ever compromising the essential rhythm of a plot that cleverly plays out in real time. Along with the stellar acting, it helps to make this one of the most rewarding theatrical experiences imaginable.
Vincent River continues till 15 July. More info at https://greenwichtheatre.org.uk/whats-on/