There are many things in life that make this Welsh girl happy and one of those things is most definitely the work of the brilliant Philip Ridley. March 8th had me tootling along to the gorgeously grungy Southwark Playhouse for the talented Mr. Ridley’s newest piece Shivered - and I hasten to add I did just that!
In its 130 minutes, Shivered swims through the complex 12 years of 7 beautifully tragic characters living in the town of Draylingstowe, Essex. What always strikes me about seeing a Ridley play performed is the astounding energy of the actors in the space. It’s highly refreshing to be reminded that it is disciplined, hard-working artists that get the chance to work with the like not the ‘fall into a part with no effort’ types that I am angered to see so many times in other great plays.
The cast of Shivered does not disappoint and exudes this aforementioned ‘energy’ throughout. Marrying the text with further intricacies and depth the ‘seven strong’ team really brought the characters out of their paper pages and into the stony tunnels. The star of this show (for my inner child and me) has got to be Joshua Williams who plays Jack with a later aka of ‘Miracle Jack’. This young new face was exceptional to watch as he injected the space with an endearing mischief and morbid fascination mayhem. This is a young man who quite clearly has his heart set on performing for many years to come!
Another incredible talent was that of Joseph Drake who graduated in 2010 from Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. The sheer effortless with which Drake appeared to transform on stage into a ten year old, was something to make good old Grotowski very proud! I look forward to seeing this morphing-machine of an actor in future endeavors.
The actors in Shivered all truly deserve to have their praises sung loud and proud. Especially for serving Ridley’s writing forte - the ‘I can’t love them but I can’t hate them either’ characters. What a play to spark the ‘Char’s Stars’ tirade of adoration and excitement for the good guys treading the thesp boards!