The Drama Barn was packed out for the last evening of The Cut, an intense production of Mark Ravenhill’s play. Matt Springett shone as Paul, who administers ‘the Cut’, a loose allusion to the death sentence, reinstated in a dystopian future Britain. After an unnerving encounter with one of his patients, Paul begins to regret the sham he lives, in a country where his job is increasingly seen as horrific by the public.
Springett effortlessly evolved from a comedic bureaucrat to handling an existential crisis within the first 20 minutes, and Adam Whybray delivered admirably as the patient who receives ‘the Cut’. What could have been a very powerful scene, however, when John (Whybray) persuades Paul to embrace the darkness and set himself free, did not gel too well, and raised more questions than the swift disposal of Whybray’s character could answer.
Anna Rohde also impressed as Paul’s austere and detached wife; the chemistry between the two perfectly illustrated the strains of a marriage plagued by secrets.
The most striking image was that of Springett falteringly removing his blood spattered gloves and gown after performing ‘the Cut’, whilst the scene changed behind him.
The main issues I had were with the lack of explanation in the play itself, which left the audience in the dark.