12 August 2007

Killer Joe

Phil Nichol stars in a new play, the only one this year since he put in two great performances last year as the madcap host of Talk Radio and the quiet brother in True West. Sadly his role is not the lead and not really of great significance, giving the spotlight over to Tony Law as Killer Joe and Ed Weeks as the son Chris who both put in good, but not brilliant, performances. Lizzie Roper is strong as Phil’s new wife, especially give the physical aspect to the role whilst Charlotte Jo Hanbury comes across as innocent enough as the pure Dottie. The story is quite dark: a plotted murder using a hit-man that goes slightly awry when they can’t afford to pay him. There are some twists later on but the end seems a little bit silly even for a black comedy. I fear this show will gain attention for the full frontal nudity, male and female, as well as some sexual violence against Lizzie Roper. It’s not as good as either of Phil’s plays last year but there are some tense moments and the underlying story is good, even with the ending. The set is also very detail (possibly re-using the kitchen from True West) and they make good use of it, dragging us into their depressing trailer park life in Dallas. It just lacks that special something to push it beyond watchable. Three chicken drumsticks out of five.

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