27 February 2019

Radiant Vermin at Tabard Theatre was excellent

I have travelled across London to see Philip Ridley plays so making the short hop to see Radiant Vermin at Tabard Theatre in Turnham Green was always going to happen.

This was my third time of seeing Radiant Vermin in three different productions, the most recent being only last September.  The three productions shared a minimalist approach (no props, no staging and no backdrops), all made good use of the different spaces they were in and all had excellent acting.

Tabard can be criticised for not naming the actors on their website but at least they are named in the free programme so I can give well deserved mentions to Laura Janes as wife, Matthew John Wright as husband and Emma Sweeney as devil(?) and tramp.

This production had more audience interaction than the others and even changed the script ever so slightly to let us vote between a new garage or a new bathroom. I was sitting in my usual seat, A4 which was almost theft at £16, and so got spoken directly and looked at quite often. Audience interaction is a key part of the story as it is told as a narrative and the couple are seeking our acceptance for what they have done and this production kept the dynamic between performers and audience bubbling throughout.

Radiant Vermin is a fast paced script with lots of lovely phrases, unexpected details and sudden sideways jumps that it still felt fresh on my third listening.

This production is probably my favourite (so far!). Some of that is down to the size of the theatre (Soho was too big, Ram Jam too small) but most of it is down to the sheer quality of the production overall and to the acting in particular.