Sweetmeat

Ivo de Jager

theSpace @ Surgeons Hall

From 07 August 2017 to 13 August 2017

Rating: **

Review by Graeme Strachan

Delving into the depths of discomfort but managing to keep things tasteful is a difficult balancing act. And for the most part, Ivo da Jager's script about a pair of men who fall in love—one fantasising about cutting and disemboweling the other, whilst he in turn lusts after being cut and consumed—succeeds.

The story is ostensibly a reimagining of the events surrounding Armin Meiwes and Bernd Brandes, the real life pair who embarked upon a bout of consensual cannibalism. However with names and situations fictionalised, the piece manages to evoke sympathy for the characters, who bear each other no malice, while expounding the horror of the situation in armrest gripping suspense.

It's a shame then that much of the play is spent in necessary but mildly dull "getting to know you" scenes as the pair of cutlery-crossed lovers find each other.

That's by no means to say that this is a bad production, simply one that underwhelms when it should excel and meanders a little more than necessary.

This is in part due to some unnecessary stage clutter, which leads to a dramatic finale being hobbled by the cast literally having to spend a minute or so clearing the stage for the final scene. A better thought out prop set or staging might have aleviated this pause in the action, and these are the sort of errors that young companies make.

With a little more thought and experience, this play could be turned into something great.