Production: Pool (no Water)/Hot Stuff
Venue: Drama Barn
Rating: * * * *
Mark Ravenhill likes to shock. He wrote 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 award-winning Metamorphosis) play three junkie bohemians who witness (and re-enact) an 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 the most lubricious. Director Mark Smith and his technical team, should be commended for adding gel to a truly sickening performance with music, lighting and the superb use of projection.
The second half is another one-act play, Hot Stuff by Hannah Davies. Linsell and Powis play a bickering couple reliving a holiday. Davies masterfully creates atmosphere, using her characters’ arguments to quickly draw a picture of who and 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.