Writer: Bryony Lavery
Director: Liam Blain
Reviewer: Danielle Shields
In 1998 Bryony Lavery introduced her controversial playFrozenat the Birmingham Repertory Theatre. Out of Town Productions have returned to the Fringe this year with their interpretation on the Tony Award nominated drama which asks us: is it possible to forgive the actions of a serial killer?
Three lives are affected and connected by the repulsive actions of one man. Nancy (Rachel Burnham) is the grieving mother whose child Rhona was murdered, psychiatrist Agnetha (Lily Penfold) wants to prove why murderers kill and of course there is serial killer Ralph (Brad St. Ledger). We watch these characters as they attempt to recognise and accept the events of the past.
On one side of the stage we have Nancy’s home; on the other we have an interrogation room. Presenting both of these settings simultaneously provides a balance where we can quickly hear how the characters are progressing as the years roll by.
Serial killers tend to be staged as either the creepily composed or the crumbling psychopath; Ledger’s Ralph falls into the latter category. His realistic portrayal sees Ralph in a schizophrenic state where he swears in every sentence and has a short concentration span. In her case study, Agnetha attempts to prove that the actions of serial killers can be justified by their irregular wiring of the brain. Greater depth is given to Penfold’s character to show how her dark personal problems command her work life.
The sucker of the majority of our affections is Nancy where her contrast in demeanor from being one in denial to one seeking revenge is wonderfully illustrated by Burnham.
Frozenis not a murder mystery or a case to solve what provokes serial killers to act the way they do; it is a nonjudgmental exploration of three people related to one incident.
Runs until 23rdAugust