Boulevard Theatre (venue)
30 January 2020 (released)
30 January 2020
Cormac McCarthy’s play focuses in on one continuous conversation between two men (known only as ‘Black’ and ‘White’), with the 90-minute interaction aiming to depict each man’s troublesome past through a blend of despair and humour.
The interaction between religious, ex-con, Black (played by Gary Beadle), and nihilistic, despondent academic, White (played by Jasper Britton) centres around Black having saved White from committing suicide a few moments prior. The setting is a dingy American bedsit, and the set-up goes some way to mirroring the dark, desperate theme of the play.
Black’s fast talking, humorous remarks are somewhat cliché, but Beadle plays the part with plenty of charisma and energy that keeps the audience engaged and alert. This is contrasted by the quietly raging, uncomfortable character of White who Britton plays with believable levels of irritation and dry wit.
Each character hints at the dark details of their life, but just when it seems like the storyline could be taking off, the threads lead nowhere and fail to be explored in any satisfying level of detail. Instead, the audience is left without any real clarity or connection to the characters dark pasts.
Whilst the play offers some colour to the characters mutual need for direction and purpose, there is little action to speak of, and the storyline fails to develop or evolve. Instead the play remains fairly surface level, with only some messy hints at any deeper significance or meaning.