Review by: Paul Towers, 18/01/16
Rope by Patrick Hamilton
LDS Production, Robert Bilic, Matthew Jarram, Robert Leeson
The Little Theatre, Leicester 18 – 23 January 2016
“psychological thriller based on real events”
On 21st May 1924 Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb committed what they thought was the perfect crime; the murder of a completely unrelated young boy, purely for the intellectual ‘fun of it’, as an ‘intellectual exercise’. Of course it was far from perfect and, through a couple of simple errors on their part, they were caught. This horrifically immoral crime inspired several books, plays and movies. Notable of these was Alfred Hitchcock’s Rope and, the source material for that film, Patrick Hamilton’s play presented here in a modernised version.
The single set is beautifully reminiscent of a faux art deco apartment high above central London and the lighting serves admirably to heighten the tension as the macabre dinner party is thrown on the antique chest containing the body of 14 year old David Kentley, son of one of the guests. Robert Bilic’s controlling and in control Wyndham Brandon perfectly pulls the strings of Matthew Jarram’s almost hysterical and increasingly drunk Charles Granillo, his partner in crime.
As the evening wears on various guests arrive as they wait for the one person Brandon considers his intellectual equal, Rupert Cadell and thus begins a masterful display of verbal jousting over the ill fated contents of the trunk as Brandon teases his mentor.
This psychological thriller, based on true facts, makes for a suspenseful evening’s entertainment. Occasionally funny but scarily true to life
Rope is on at The Little Theatre until Saturday 23rd January
First published in Western Gazette