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Frozen

Bryony Lavery
Fresh Glory Productions
Riverside Studios
(2008)

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The revival of Bryony Lavery’s play that gets inside the mind of a paedophile serial killer is a chilling and engaging piece of work.

I’m not a huge fan of monologues and each character has more than their fair share of telling the audience, that I found a little tedious; but the otherwise incredible tension and tight scenes shared between characters more than made up for this.

The play brings together the mother of a dead ten-year-old, the murderer and an American scientist who asks ‘sin or symptom’ when it comes to the paedophile, Ralph (brilliantly acted by Jack James).

Lavery has a delicate touch; the mother’s pain and struggle to get back a life devastatingly realistic while Ralph teetered between being intelligently convincing and truly autistic in his solipsistic removal from his crimes.

All the characters are frozen; Nancy can’t move on from losing her daughter, Ralph lives in a world of plans, operations and trauma from childhood abuse and only at the end of the play to we find that the Scientist too is nursing a trauma that keeps her emotional clock from ticking.

The play is superbly crafted and the acting excellent. It is a pity that this is so let down by an incredibly drab and awkward set that did nothing to relieve the few moments of boredom I suffered during the many and lengthy monologues.

Cecily Boys reviewed this production at the York Theatre Royal Studio

Reviewer: Zia Trench