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The Red - 4**** - One4Review

The Red – 4****

| On 25, Aug 2019

A new play by Marcus Brigstocke, his writing and directing debut, and very much a personal piece of work, given his own past addictions. The setting is the interior of a wine cellar into which enters Benedict, played by Sam Alexander, fresh from his father’s funeral. Benedict has been bequeathed a share of his father’s wine cellar, even though his is a reformed alcoholic, and finds a note addressed to him in the cellar. His father has laid down a bottle of Lafite Rothschild from his birth year of 1978 and would really like Benedict to drink the wine – he really wanted the two of them to enjoy drinking it together, but clearly his death has put paid to that dream. Benedict’s father, John, played by Bruce Alexander, then appears from the grave and the real-life father and son begin a compelling two-hander on the pleasures and dangers of drinking alcohol, particularly wine. Benedict is torn between his father’s wish and risking everything, his family and his career, by having a drink after 25 years of abstinence – he sees it as poking the “sleeping tiger” of alcohol. The hour-long play is both thought provoking and entertaining, although perhaps a little repetitive in places. Whether you’re a wine lover or not, this is a well written and perfectly performed piece of theatre and is highly recommend.
Reviewed by Howard
Pleasance Dome
Until 26th August

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