Review: Killing Roger, David Russell Theatre, Portsmouth

The former H&E King sweet shop in Albert Road

The Kings Theatre looks to press forward with multi-million pound regeneration plans

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Outstanding. This best describes Sparkle and Dark theatre company’s performance as part of Portsmouth Festivities.

A simple yet highly effective set, seamless transitions between scenes, clever choreography and a talented cast make this a powerful piece of theatre that stays with you long after the stalls have emptied.

Live music by Lawrence Illsley on the acoustic guitar amplifies the tension and complements the mood of each scene perfectly. Simple use of lighting also helps build the atmosphere.

Graham Dron is beautifully fragile as the college student Billy, giving a stellar performance, while Louisa Ashton proves a versatile performer in three very different roles.

The star of the show has to be Roger, a life-sized puppet operated by Nicholas Halliwell and Ashton. In Halliwell’s hands Roger becomes a living, breathing human being and his death is achingly painful to watch, leaving the audience in shell-shocked silence.

A wonderful piece of storytelling by a truly gifted company.