The Kill

First Written for The Reviews Hub

The Kill – International Bar, Dublin

Writer: Alan Grant

Director: Alan Grant

“Don’t trust anybody.”

Guns, violence, and tragedy pile up on one another and threaten to overflow in The Kill, the new play from Dark Horse Theatre Company.

As the audience settle in their seats there is a long, white item at the foot of the stage. It later emerges that this is a body. Son of gangland boss, Charles was always hoping to live a different life to his father. Now he finds himself looking at the dead body of his fiancée after she has been murdered by one of his father’s associates. Hard man and assassin Mr Black sits beside him and explains his lack of conscience. He is a man who follows orders and does what he has to do even if he does not like it. Interestingly the use of just Mr. Black’s surname ensures the audience do not get as close to him as they do to protagonist Charles.

The Kill is a three person play but it’s the arrival of Garda Seargeant Barnes, played by Martin Brennan,  that alters the play’s trajectory. A drinker and a lost man Barnes turns up to help dispose of the body. His intervention that changes the path the characters are on, sending this crime drama into new and surprising territory.

There are several allusions to Greek mythology throughout the play, including the infamous Medea, a woman who killed her own children in order to punish her lover when his interest moved to another. Furthermore playwright Alan Grant takes the time to try to explore what lies behind the actions of these violent men. This investigation of one form of masculinity is interesting and hopefully this is something Grant will pursue further.

At present The Kill is a little overwrought. The action never seems to progress, with characters embroiled in endless swearing matches and guns  being waved around for most of the hour. However the ending is the production’s saving grace, offering the audience a unique perspective on gangland crime.

Runs until 24 February 2017 | Image: Contributed