This was a seriously impressive play in writing, staging and performance.
Everything is ramshackle in the East End apartment where the characters dwell. An adaption at The Old Red Lion Theatre in Islington was an outstanding representation of lust and misery, love and its delusions. Cougar’s long stints of palpable silence, Captain’s screaming at the free birds, Cougar’s lascivious sideways glance through sunglasses, Sherbet’s spiteful exposition, Cheetah Bee’s reeling monologue (‘I am at the end, you are at the beginning’), and an artful plunge into a willing schoolboy’s trousers as an entrancing fairtytale is regaled in the background.
Each character in Phillip Ridley’s The Fastest Clock in the Universe is barraged by time and crippled by human cruelty; whether it be fate, to a fellow, or to an animal. In tradition with his history of penning children’s books all characters are named absurdly (Cougar, Sherbert) and innocent details seem garish and haunting.
Captain has been turned a servile wench in his part salivating and part parental love for Cougar; Cougar is stuck in a pursuit for the folly of eternal youth. His fixation turning him into a tyrant and scurrilous beast..his dick both figuratively and physically the epicentre of his every whim and action. Focusing on trapping time has left him vapid and tormented.
Sherbert and Foxtrot both have time ahead of them. Foxtrot’s youth has led him both easily led and easily led astray. Unaware that his susceptibility to excitement and developing sense of platonic and sexual romance is under surveillance. Sherbert is in constant pursuit of the truth and sees through masks like only a child can.
Cast: Joshua Blake, Ian Houghton, Dylan Llewellyn, Ania Marson, Nancy Sullivan