The Collector review

Kingston Bagpuize Drama Group’s production of

The Collector

By Mark Healy

26th, 27th, 28th April

This play, with its dark, rather unpleasant storyline was presented by the Kingston Bagpuize Drama Group this week, with considerable success.

The two members of the cast, Robert Hall as Frederick Clegg and Emily Joyce as Miranda Grey provided a very believable combination of kidnapper and hostage and gave two superb performances. The terror portrayed by Emily was very credible and Robert’s slightly faltering style added to the menacing characterisation.

The cohesion and chemistry between the two performers was evident from the start: he menacing and she terrified as the relationship developed. In fact, the cast of two throughout the course of the play convincingly portrayed a whole range of emotions, as the transition from reasonableness to dominance by each of them changed back and forth. Rather than trying to make Clegg deliberately frightening, the ordinary, niceness and naivety of Robert Hall made his characterisation even more menacing. As the relationship grows between captor and captive, tension was maintained throughout. The flashes of black humour came over well; the audience being unsure whether to laugh or not. Right the way through the pace was good, apart from slight dips when Frederick was in position, waiting for his lighting cue, however, this was soon recovered.

The imaginative use of video at the beginning and end was very successful and enhanced the scene-setting. The positioning of Frederick in the audience for his opening and closing speeches was extremely effective, drawing the audience right into the action.

The split set of cellar/dining room worked well and added to the feeling of claustrophobia of the cellar, if not a little cramped. In the dining room half there appeared to be a strange selection of furniture. The lighting was good focussing attention on wherever the action was taking place.

Overall, this was an excellent production, superbly performed and technically first-rate, appreciated by the full house on Saturday and, from comments reported, well-received on the preceding nights.

Nigel James