Graham Greene’s 80-year-old story takes on new resonance in Bryony Lavery’s dark and thrilling adaptation of Brighton Rock at The Rep.
This brooding tale of the criminal underworld follows teenage sociopath and gang leader Pinkie Brown (Jacob James Beswick) as he attempts to cover his tracks after a brutal murder, leaving a fresh trail of destruction in his wake.
In a demanding anti-heroic role Beswick owns the character of Pinkie, his exaggerated mannerisms work perfectly and he captures Pinkie's tortured nature, dominating arrogance and inner struggles with great skill.
Sarah Middleton produces a beautiful performance as naive waitress Rose, whose blind devotion sucks her into Pinkie’s dangerous world. The tragically abusive nature of their relationship is portrayed with power and sensitivity.
Meanwhile Gloria Onitiri is superb as the unwitting detective and good conscience of the piece, Ida Arnold, who won’t settle until she learns the truth. Onitiri’s naturalistic portrayal is striking throughout and she owns every scene to the point her character transcends the boundaries of the story itself.
Other members of the small cast produce an impressive series of cameos in which Angela Bain and Shamira Turner stand out with their versatility and characterisation.
A simple but striking set allows for slick changes of location to help the story move along at break-neck speed and a two-piece band playing Hannah Peel’s excellent score in the shadows adds cleverly to the constant sense of foreboding.
Pilot Theatre deliver a dark and thrilling reboot of Greene’s suspenseful story of the criminal underworld with bags of substance to match its considerable style.
Brighton Rock plays at The Rep until Saturday 14 April.
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