Arts & Entertainment

REVIEW: Down An Alley Filled With Cats

This is a pretzel of a plot. Simon (Gabriel Egan), a lanky, young, small time criminal – cocky beyond his IQ – rushes into a bookstore just as the owner is closing up, only to find the book he had phoned earlier to reserve has been sold. Timothy (William Jordan) is a Polish immigrant and the much older, more articulate and erudite owner of the bookstore. Thanks to his indifference to an eviction notice, Timothy and thus, the hapless Simon are locked in the building overnight.

As the night unfurls, so too does the story, in a roller coaster of revelations. The book Simon had reserved, was inscribed with a clue to the location of a a very valuable vase, but of course, Timothy didn’t know this…or did he? They share a Polish sausage and polish off a bottle and a half of Scotch; Simon ends up in his undies and an overcoat, and fact and fiction are not quite as clear as the books on Timothy’s shelves.

It’s a thrilling and clever script, punctuated with humour, nodding to classics such as Deathtrap and The Maltese Falcon.

Director Tom Richards brings the two protagonists to the edge of caricature, but allows just enough room for empathy. The set is surprisingly furnished for a small production and this adds to a shared sense of claustrophobia, but also intimacy with the audience.

The actors have a good rapport with each other and aptly handle a script that verges towards trope with enough awareness to keep it fresh and convincing.

Until May 13, 7.30pm. King Street Theatre, 644 King St, Newtown. $30-$35. Tickets & Info: www.kingstreettheatre.com.au

Reviewed by Rita Bratovich.