Leslie Ann Albiston latest play Chop Me Up or Let Me Go is a dark comedy with a twist. Where a kidnap takes place in which we see Astrid (Ciara Murphy) an accomplished scientist kidnap Tom (Alastair Coughlan) a high profile actor with the world at his feet and an ego to match.
Astrid bursts onto the stage holding a gun in Tom’s direction and telling him to, well not telling him anything at first. The hostage situation initially appears volatile and unstable. You are expecting the worse to happen. Yet as the dialogue progresses there’s no obvious reason why she has taken him to her parent’s house or what her exact intentions are. This adds to the suspense throughout as you know what you are expecting to hear yet will it arrive!
Coughlan’s role as the self-obsessed “needy” actor has disturbing elements of truth about it. From his obsessive healthy diet, need to be adored and fixation on his public popularity. All of these things we see reported in the news or press about many A list actors. He certainly gives a convincing performance.
The brains behind the kidnapping plays her cards very close to her chest at all times. Murphy’s “geeky nerd” persona leaves you wondering what on earth Tom could have that she could need or want. Completely in control of her hostage and her place on the stage. Very strong performance and a pleasure to watch.
With a strong cast of two, who have an excellent working relationship and a high level of trust to be able to perform some of the physical scenes was the strong foundation for the play.
The black comedy lasts just under an hour. As the play comes to an end the truth about why she has kidnapped him is revealed and explained. With an interesting twist in the final scenes, we are left wondering if there’s a level of unpleasant reality added in as well. Only time will tell.
Performing at The Hen and Chickens between 19th-23rd October. Please use the link below for more details.
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