Pool (no water) / Hot Stuff

Play: Pool (no water) / Hot Stuff
Venue: Drama Barn
Director: Mark Smith
Starring: Tom Powis, Danie Linsell, Alex Wright

Mark Ravenhill likes to shock. He has written The Cut – performed last year in the Drama Barn – and now brings us pool (no water), which makes extensive use of the word “cunt”. Shocking indeed – and suitable, when it was first performed in 2006, only “for those aged over 16”.

Tom Powis, Danie Linsell and Alexander G Wright (Director of the award-winning Metamorphosis) play three junkie bohemians who witness (and re-enact for us) a hideous accident at the house of their more successful friend. Jealousy and hatred inspire them to attempt a very different sort of art.

The three were convincingly self-absorbed, with Linsell standing out as perhaps the most lubricious. Director Mark Smith, along with his technical team, should be commended for adding gel to a truly sickening performance with the music, lighting and the superb use of projection.

The second half is another one-act play, this time Hot Stuff by Hannah Davies, a post-grad here at York.

Linsell and Powis play a bickering couple on a spur-of-moment holiday. Davies masterfully creates atmosphere, using her characters’ arguments to quickly draw a picture of who they are, and even better, where they are. Powis was exceptional as the weak-minded, yet angry, husband. And Wright, it seems, is more comfortable as a smooth-talking Arab bad guy than in bohemian mode.

Even if the chairs on stage occasionally become distracting, Hot Stuff is overall, very entertaining

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