Wednesday, 3 December 2014

'Piranha Heights' Old Red Lion Theatre ****

Repeatedly, one has often commented on the quality of London's theatre scene, and the Off West End and Fringe segments have proven to be increasingly enjoyable, compared to the West End’s disastrous array of performances. The Old Red Lion Theatre’s present production of Phillip Ridley’s 2008 play, ‘Piranha Heights’ was an electrifying production that's bursting with enormous amounts of intimacy, and provided with charismatic performances. ‘Piranha Heights’ was first performed at Soho Theatre in 2008, is entirely set in the flat of the deceased mother of Alan and Terry, who are quarrelling on who deserves to be the rightful proprietor of this habitat. Alan the ragged and anxious taxi driver endeavours to seek possession of his mothers’ home, in the hope that his son, Garth and himself to move in as Alan is planning to divorce his wife. However, Terry a frequent fugitive has other ideas for their mothers’ property as he's already agreed that immigrant Muslim, Lily and slightly demented, Medic can reside that with him. Alan appears fuming and confused by this as he thinks that having himself should've spoken about this. Terry has become brainwashed by Medic, but this will infuse negative connotations as Medic is severely psychotic, this is shown when he sets his eyes on Alan for the first time, he maliciously assaults him. On the other hand, Medic explains to Alan that he does not want to live with Terry whatsoever, and states that he will be abuse Terry so that Alan can I own the flat. It seems that the psychotic being is quite poignant here as Alan’s son, Garth has enormous mental issues as he seems to presume that his only friend is invisible cricket called, “Mr Green”, and to show his appreciation his clothing accessories are of an luminous green, likewise, it appears that Garth has immense disgust towards his father, and uncle as he puts a gun towards their faces, with the assistance of Medic. Ridley’s narrative is enthralling as we are observing the traumas of mental health, and how unnerving the explosions can be for those who are closest to them, as well as, Ridley’s plot presents us with another thought-provoking plot, as seen with the Arcola Theatre’ summer production of ‘Ghost from a Perfect Place’. One found the performances by the company of ‘Piranha Heights’ was fabulous during the entire performance, especially within their movements and facial expressions. Ryan Gerald is marvellous as the aggressively frightening, Medic; in particular when we see his expression change dramatically when he sees Alan, additionally, it appears that he has understood how one must portray someone who has mental health issues. Jassa Ahluwalia is transcendent as Alan's menacing son, Garth; especially when we learn of his arsonist past when he when he was an early teenager, also his facial expression when he speaks to his friend, “Mr Green” was chilling too. Max Barton's direction is terrific as his interpretation of Ridley's play is spectacularly exhilarating; principally at the finale as the flat is destroyed by Medic and Garth, which is an unexpected moment indeed. Cecile Tremolieres’ design is uniquely brilliant as it's a surprisingly sumptuous as the quality of the detailing was principally fluid and precise. Furthermore, one was massively captured into this tale of seeking your identity and the uncertainty of life for the young person. Overall, one found the experience of ‘Piranha Heights’ to be an electrifying one, and congratulations to the Old Red Lion Theatre’s new artistic director, Stewart Pringle for his inaugural production.

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