Chapter, Cardiff, Tues 16-Sat 20 Dec 2008
Gus – Alex Harries
Ben – Dean Rehman
Lighting Design and Staging
Sound Design and Staging
Dumb Waiter built by Martin Harris
Deftly twisting Chapter’s ongoing redevelopment work for its own gain, the Welsh Fargo Stage Company’s take on Harold Pinter’s edgy one-act rarity transports you right inside its drafty bedsit basement seeing in the temporary Yr Llofft space. Visually, Dean Rehman (Ben) and Alex Harries (Gus) are expertly cast as at-odds hit men awaiting their next job, the former, a steely-eyed senior killer-for-hire, driven to distraction by his younger partner’s constant questioning.
The actors are already sitting in character as the audience files across the makeshift stage, a move that immediately invokes gritty realism, before the pair start to devour the often sparse script and somewhat farcical central scenes involving the titular dumb waiter. Harries’ slightly exaggerated Welsh lilt lends a genuine gormless air to Gus, upping the suspense as his partner’s patience wears even thinner. Rehman is also convincing, brooding and troubled by the drama that lies ahead. When the fleeting moments of near-violence do break out, the audience members find themselves jarred against the back of their seats, and the concluding twist is well-weighted.
Directed by Sarah Argent. Lighting design and Staging by Lee Grey. Sound design and staging by Anna Eveleigh. Scenic Artist – James Gardiner. Props by Steve Denton. Dumb Waiter built by Martin Harris.