Locked In

theSpace

From 13 August 2012 to 25 August 2012

Rating: ****

Review by Catherine Lamm

Keith Vaugh was an English abstract painter of some note and talent from the middle of the last century, his art becoming more personal rather than a reflection of society.

We are fortunate here that the telling of his life is accompanied by slides of the artist's work as a reflection or enhancement of the telling. A tortured soul, as most artists seem to be, Vaugh seemed, according to Locked In, to have accepted his homosexuality better than most for that time period, more curious and puzzled by it.

Peter Scott-Presland has adapted the journals of Vaughan into a subdued and tender homage. The script, I’m guessing it's more Vaugh than Scott-Presland, is languid and beautiful without being self-conscious. We don’t know where we’re going but go happily if not eagerly. Scott-Presland as the Vaugh of the journals make him very much his own.

The one flaw in the script, not easily ignored: Scott-Presland doesn’t give us too much of the angst which led to his suicide. His one brush with the law was over his painting of a landscape. We can assume that it was his homosexuality as well as his liver cancer that pushed him to his death.

Unfortunately the direction, the lights but mostly the sound gets in the way. Director Randy Smartnick along with Scott-Presland should have trusted the material and the actor.

Nonetheless, this is well worth seeing for the script and performance.