Killer Joe

This article is from 2007.

A familiar tale of feuding families

‘It’s about a corrupt family in a trailer park who try to escape their desperate situation. In a very 90s way, it’s a black comedy.’ Comedian Tony Law, who plays Killer Joe, sums up the plot in a nutshell. Tracy Letts’ first play sounds simple enough, but it was an express success, especially with us Brits, who revelled in this new kitchen sink/trailer-trash cross genre.

The piece deals with human desperation and dysfunctional families, something, Law says, everyone is familiar with. ‘There isn’t a single family that is functional. There are some very sexual and violent scenes, but surely by now people have seen it all before, so it’s less about the violence and more about these diverse and unlikeable people. As a comedian, I’ve tried to find ways of making Joe charming, which actually makes him more shocking.’

The production strikes a good balance of actors (Phil Nichol, Lizzie Roper) and comedians‚ This combination will hopefully create a compelling dark comedy. ‘If you need to cleanse yourself afterwards, my time travelling sausage dog play, Revenge of the Dog of Time, is the perfect antidote,’ says Law, never one to miss an opportunity for a quick plug.

Pleasance Courtyard, 556 6550, 4–27 Aug (not 15), 6pm, £10–£12 (£8.50–£11). Previews until 3 Aug, £5.

Killer Joe

  • 2 stars

Video nasty for the stage about an impoverished trailer park family who strike a Faustian pact with local devil-in-a-stetson Killer Joe Cooper. Completely absent of comic timing, or of any regard for humanity. 'Part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2007'.

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