The first thing to mention about Kray Kray is Bryan Hodsgon direction he has a complete grasp on the situation and the time period creating an immediate atmosphere that is completely gripping where at times creepy comedy moments of the play are merge exquisitely with the sinister aspects of the now notorious twins lives. The story is about the Kray twins Ronnie and Reggie booking a swanky hotel room prior to a meeting with a famous Hollywood film producer who has shown an interest in making a movie about their lives, Jimmy Barker as Ronnie Kray is superb maintaining a sinister stare throughout demonstrating in very clear terms Ronnie psychotic tendencies and borderline schizophrenia. As the tension between the twins build, its to Barkers credit that his total immersion on the role is unquestionable. The two of them shine in their respective roles especially when they deliver their solo speeches. Perry Meadowcroft as the more level headed Reggie Kray also brings a very distinct flair to the role,. This play does have a heart and soul to it as it also brings up the now well documented relationship the boys had with their mother Violet and the relationship that Reggie had with his wife Francis Shea , who took her own life, Ronnie taunts Reggie about this as a means to offer have control over him, Ronnie’s own homosexuality is also handled in the play and the facts that he admits to being bi-sexual only gives an interesting aspect to the story. Kray Kray also brings to life East end traditions and the dialogue between the two actors also happens to be very clever in places as its predicts the future with a spooky irony. This is gripping stuff with a wonderful hold on accurate story telling. There is a line in the play , ‘ Legacy lasts longer than lifetimes’ this maybe true , As people can we be taken to task about being still interested in the Kray twins story. I don’t think so. Brilliantly done , an intriguing examination of the human psyche.
5 stars Kray Kray was reviewed on the 15th April, Runs to the 29th April Theatre N16 , 77 Bedford Hill, Balham SW12 9HD www.theatren16.co.uk