Jerry & Tom
Tarantino-esque hitman dramedy
This article is from 2013.
There’s a shiver that runs down every critic’s spine when s/he hears the name ‘Tarantino’ in reference to a stage production. This word is invariably not used to describe something the Hollywood director has actually written; rather, it is shorthand for dialogue that thinks itself snappy, is loaded with pop culture references, and does little or nothing to advance the plot. Oh, and has an undercurrent of violence running throughout.
A story charting the career of two hitmen is already a ripe setting for such reservoir doggerel; the fact that said hitmen take their names from famous cartoon characters is merely the icing on the cake. And yet Jerry and Tom manages to distinguish itself by remembering the Quentissential ingredient that the pulpiest of these fictions forget: character development. Through the flippant, reference-loaded conversations these two killers conduct, there is a clear and satisfying arc: Tom, the old pro, coaches rookie Jerry up through the ranks, from queasy newcomer to arrogant, death-proof Bill-killer.
Sure, it’s far from the most original concept in town, but it’s told so smartly and with so many knowing winks to the audience, you’d be hard pressed not to root for the inglorious bastards.
the Space on the Mile, 510 2382, until 24 Aug (not Sun), 7.05pm, £10 (£8).