I’m so excited to have the pleasure of reviewing Minotaur’s most recent production of Phillip Ridley’s ‘The Fastest Clock in the Universe', a show that was in incredibly high demand to be seen, and rightly so.
Pip Williams and Kyle Flynn-Davies did not disappoint in their eerie interpretation and re-telling of the highly tense, yet humorous story of the perils of unrequited love and lust, amidst the intimacy of an East End London flat. From the outset it was clear that both directors, actors and prod team had worked amicably and tirelessly to create a highly believable and authentic piece of theatre which was an outstanding spectacle for the audience to behold. The intimate setting of the rehearsal room only perpetuated the growing intensity that both the actors and plot projected, creating not just entertainment, but an experience for the audience, with the kooky set contributing towards the quirky tone of the piece. Credit must be given to the success of the production manager Anna Wildmore and the fabulous contribution of the set designers (Charlotte Rhodes, Rocio Rodriguez-Inniss).
Everyone is listening to Captain Tock's story...
This truly artistic spectacle meant that the audience were taken upon a tense trajectory, with the explosive ending magnificently conducted by Bobbi Nunes. Her portrayal of the sugar sweet Sherbet Gravel riveted the audience as we became blind sighted by the possibility of an uncanny turn in her personality which triumphed at the end. Louis Raghunathan’s portrayal of an innocent and naïve Foxtrot Darling evoked a sincere emotion of anguish towards his situation underneath the grasp of Cougar Glass. This left the audience in an immense state of shock towards the end of the play.
Nina Cavaliero as 'Cheetah Bee'
Similarly, Nina Cavaliero’s unnerving and dark interpretation of the aged, yet at times witty, Cheetah Bee resonated magnificently with the dark undertones of the whole piece. And finally both Gabriel Fogarty- Graveson and Sam Webber were outstanding in their collaborative efforts to create and portray such a turbulent and manipulative relationship between Cougar Glass and Captain Tock. Graveson’s (Cougar Glass) portrayal of a cold and conniving psychopath meant that Webber’s depiction of a wary and anxious Captain Tock really emphasised the struggles of unrequited love and the perils of a one sided, manipulative relationship, thus further in keeping with the play’s murky underlying tone.
Sam Webber illuminates the room as 'Captain Tock'
Foxtrot and Sherbet tell the others about the Future One
To summarise, if you’re interested in Theatre with birds, guns, party hats in handbags, goofy looking sunglasses, men lounging around in their underwear and delectable looking chocolate cake then this play is an absolute winner for you. To steadily create and enamour the audience in such a dark, yet witty atmosphere is a true credit to the work of both actors and directors. It is rare that one is able to be taken on such an emotional journey from laughter, to anguish to heartbreak in the theatre, but Minotaur’s recent production of Ridley’s ‘The Fastest Clock in the Universe’ effortlessly achieved this, providing a dramatic piece of sheer entertainment and astonishment. A massive congratulations to all involved.