Le Grand Mort

  • Date : 5th October 2017
Stephen Clark wrote this for Julian and as the play began and Mr Clary with an almost wicked glint in his eye started his opening monologue it was instantly recognisable that he was treasuring and almost savouring  every word Mr Clark had written for him to say. Mr Clary was a revelation an actually sensational , pulling of the role with an air of confidence and commitment that was superb to watch. He plays Michael an unsuccessful architect relegated too designing a  banquette for the Premier Inn hotel chains lobby. He meets Tim in a local bar and invites him for dinner, cooking him pasta putinesca, the whores pasta and the cat and mouse games begin. Here opposes attract but who is manipulating you , who is trying to control whom.  the banter between him and Tim played by a very striking James Nelson -Joyce is at times edge of the seat stuff, as the sexual attraction between them builds and builds This is play that touches on death , the power of death on people siting  Marilyn Monroe, Princess Diana and Jesus Christ  , described in the play as the original sex God as perfect examples of achieving excellence via death.
Clarke tackles,  necrophilia, lust , bestiality , incest  and via an erotic and visceral approach tugs on the audiences  reactions and leaves no stone unturned . The comedy is brilliant with both Clary and Joyce given well measured performances that are sublime. This is also in places gorgeously grotesque with Clary at one point saying to Joyce
‘ you require a lot of Oxygen” , Very crisp delivery of  a smart , poetic and rhythmic script made for 90 mins of  stunning theatre and when Joyce removes his clothes and puts him self against a version of da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man this is a moment of spell binding and beautifully acted and intense drama. Clarke may of added touches of  Joe Orton into the script with  his same attitude towards the macabre, his dark humour is very interesting , this is also a wonderful study  in emotions and the mess you can get into if they remain unchecked. Modern theatre at its best, very sexy stuff!
4 stars , runs to the 28th October, Studio 2 , Trafalgar Studios 14 Whitehall , SW1 Box office 0844 871 7631 atgtickets.com
Grand Mort

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