Review: Killology, Sherman Theatre

Photography: Mark Douet

Killology, Tuesday 28th March, Sherman Theatre, reviewer: Tom Morris

This is the kind of life affirming art one might not expect local theatre to show. Yet here it is, right here in Cardiff, literally on the students union’s doorstep, a play that would cost an awful lot more in London and would be a highlight at the Edinburgh Fringe.

There are just three characters, and most of the play is delivered through their long monologues. They rarely speak to each other. Yet they construct an epic tale of father-son relationships, of selfishness vs solidarity with the whole of society.

Through the simple yet fascinating set, lit with panache, the violent world the three men have lived in comes to life. The audience is invited into their lives and we can see beyond the set into their past and perhaps even their future. The script is smart, and keeps the audience engaged with trying to work out who is who. It is by no means confusing however: all is revealed by the end, whether it’s imagined scenes which make the stomach turn at described psychological or mimed physical violence, vivid yet fleeting scenes of hope between father and son, and the innermost feelings of the characters- what makes these disturbed men tick?

The plot advertised of video game violence is a very smart backdrop, but is just that. There are no silly Matrix-style “they were in the game all along” reveals, no aggrandizing takedowns of current events; just a simple story which might change your mind about a few things that have happened in your own life. If you don’t go to the theatre for that, what else do you want?

by Tom Morris