A Clockwork Orange
- David Kettle
- 4 August 2012
This article is from 2012.
Stylish, shocking, all-male adaptation of Anthony Burgess' classic novel
Theatre company Action to the Word’s high-energy, all-male adaptation of Anthony Burgess’s classic novel relocates the fable to a futuristic northern England, full of rippling muscles, bronzed flesh and lashings of casual sex and violence.
Emphasising the homoerotic feelings that bind Alex and his band of droogs is a strong conceit – and one that’s carried over into the scenes where Alex is tried and imprisoned, where sex seems to simmer just beneath the surface. But it’s also a perspective that drives director Alexandra Spencer-Jones’ production away from Burgess’ surely central themes of violence, power and control, which the show never really grapples with. It’s stylish, shocking and seductive, but it seems to shy away from the text’s difficult ideas.
It’s a fantastically physical production, though, rich with provocative movement and gripping fights. Martin McCreadie is an imposing physical presence in the lead role, but he doesn’t quite convey the volatile charisma that marks out the character. Damien Hasson is unsettling as Deltoid and the prison chaplain, and the rest of the cast fill out the other roles with often animal passion.
Pleasance Courtyard, 556 6550, until 26 Aug (not 13), 3.40pm, £13.50–£14.50 (£12–£13).