Welcome! This is your first free article. Get more free articles when you sign up with your email.

Fat Jewels

“Powerful new writing”
FacebookTwitterLinkedIn

Quietly horrifying and laced with bitterly black comedy, Fat Jewels is a moody, miserable study of psychosexual abuse. Set in one room of a grubby council flat, the story centres on troubled lad Pat, whose fear of his own deteriorating mental health leaves him vulnerable to damaged, old-enough-to-be-his-dad family friend Danny.

Robert Walters makes a chillingly believable predator here, running rings around the younger man as he works through his own myriad traumas, methodically seducing his victim with promises of friendship, fried food, and cathartic violence. Hugh Train, meanwhile, is energetic and engaging as Pat, playing the part with well-judged, unforced openness.

Luke Davies directs with the same frank empathy he brought to 2017’s The Chemsex Monologues, creating an atmosphere of creeping awfulness while working hard to unearth the sympathetic strands in Joseph Skelton’s keenly observed but deliberately directionless script. Though the plot develops through jarring peaks and ploddingly slow plateaus, the bleak dialogue is absorbing, ringing true in both naturalistic and darkly lyrical passages. Exploring their deeply repressed needs, the characters linger with queasy sensuality on descriptions of chip grease glittering on skin, of an imagined abuser’s shadow crossing the wall like Nosferatu.

Designed by Andrew Skelton, the set is cluttered with takeaway cartons and lager cans, sleeping bags and a child-sized chair, all scattered against a backdrop of angular puce panels. The effect is simultaneously recognisable and disorienting, hinting at the disordered lives and seething desperation of the play’s disaffected characters.


Related to this Review

MachinalMachinal

Production Details
Production nameFat Jewels
VenueHope Theatre
LocationLondon
StartsJuly 3, 2018
EndsJuly 21, 2018
Running time1hr 20mins
AuthorJoseph Skelton
DirectorLuke Davies
Set designerAndrew Skelton
Lighting designerTimothy Hofmeier
CastHugh Train, Robert Walters
Stage managerJoseph Skelton
ProducerRaving Mask Theatre
VerdictUneven but undeniably powerful new writing given a sympathetic treatment by director Luke Davies
FacebookTwitterLinkedIn
Add New Comment
You must be logged in to comment.
Dave Fargnoli

Dave Fargnoli

Dave Fargnoli

Dave Fargnoli

Your subscription helps ensure our journalism can continue

Invest in The Stage today with a subscription starting at just £3.98
The Stage
© Copyright The Stage Media Company Limited 2020
Facebook
Instagram
Twitter
Linked In
Pinterest
YouTube