I’m always a little apprehensive on my annual visit to Red Stitch. How will it stand up to the theatre I see in London now that it’s my haunt? The answer is that Red Stitch is world-class.
This is a strong performance in all respects: a wonderful cast and set for a play one hopes is the start of a shining career for Campbell, and behind the scenes, director Brett Cousins who has grown up with the theatre itself. The intimacy of Red Stitch is unique in my experience. I go to many of London’s small theatres like the 503 and the King’s Head, but none of them give me the feeling, which I always have in Red Stitch, that I’m part of the stage. In a play like this, which forces us into the world of people we prefer to treat as invisible, this is all the more effective. Has anybody gone to this play and not felt complicit? As I sat there listening to the scene where Spencer is in his room with Mike, I doubt I was the only one who wanted to take the few steps across the stage to save him. And I doubt I was the only one who felt guilty that I didn’t.
Yet the fact is, I am staying at a friend’s house behind the Gatwick, a sort of real life extension of Wet House, and I do cross the road rather than walk next to it and I will continue to do so. Complicity overcomes guilt.
Bravo Red Stitch.