dfp_header_hidden_string

Get our free email newsletter with just one click

The Murderer review at Zoo Southside, Edinburgh – ‘poetic take on rehabilitation’

The Murderer at Zoo Southside
by -

Somewhere in a world just like ours, rehabilitating criminals is a matter for care in the community – even for murderers. Adapted from a poem by Luke Kennard, Clown Funeral’s play turns out to be a surreal and almost sci-fi premise helped by moody mobile frames that create an edgy, minimalist staging.

Like a reality game show, a supervisor and a murderer move from prison into the former’s flat. It’s awkward but they soon get used to the quirks and weird routine of living together – cooking without knives stops being an issue, meditation becomes a welcome routine, the murderer learns to ignore the supervisor constantly dictating notes into a recorder about her habits and reactions.

Whimsical but with something darker seeming to be always around the corner, the action is punctuated by an actor at a mic providing a steady stream of clips from TV shows, forecasts and news as the rest of the world continues its normal course. The frames become the apartment, a taxi or ticket office, and provide an effective vehicle for splitting dialogue while elegant music drives the transitional moments.

This three-hander comes with a revolving cast of five, and this night’s cast of Freddie Paul, Ella Tebay and Patrick Tobin work well as an ensemble under Sam George’s subtle yet ambitious direction. A little more depth, however, needs to be written into the script about the relationship between the couple. On a more practical level, there is a problem with projection that distracts, while movement is not as tight as it should be.

We need your help…

When you subscribe to The Stage, you’re investing in our journalism. And our journalism is invested in supporting theatre and the performing arts.

The Stage is a family business, operated by the same family since we were founded in 1880. We do not receive government funding. We are not owned by a large corporation. Our editorial is not dictated by ticket sales.

We are fully independent, but this means we rely on revenue from readers to survive.

Help us continue to report on great work across the UK, champion new talent and keep up our investigative journalism that holds the powerful to account. Your subscription helps ensure our journalism can continue.

Subscribers to The Stage get 10% off The Stage Tickets’ price
Verdict
Unusual, poetic take on crime rehabilitation hits the spot but needs more work
^