Thursday, February 22

Rocky Road –

Having been a long admirer of Shaun McKenna’s writing for both theatre and radio I looked forward to seeing his latest thriller from Stream Theatre and I wasn’t disappointed.

Filmed at the Jermyn Street Theatre in London, Rocky Road is a dark and quite intense thriller that has revenge as its central theme. Basically McKenna’s play is a powerful two-hander that explores not only revenge but the power of grief and the inability to move forward.

Zoe (Kirstin Foster) moves into a new apartment and meets up with the buildings young caretaker Danny (Tyger Drew-Honey) and at first everything seems normal enough except (as we all know in any great thriller) things are not what they seem and soon we come realise the terrible crime that has brought Zoe and Danny to this place.

To reveal anything else of this delicious plot would definitely spoil it but suffice to say McKenna’s clever script includes twists, turns, certain uncomfortable revelations about the two characters and at least one jump scare for good measure.

Photo by Simon Annand

One particular scene is almost too much to bear as one of the characters (no names) asks Amazon’s Alexa how to use a knife to murder someone – chilling but utterly compelling and the Agatha Christie vibe continues all the way through to the satisfying denouement.

This is a thriller that packs a real punch and all through the entire 90 minutes (no interval); both Foster and Drew-Honey totally command the stage with some excellent and very impressive acting. McKenna’s fast moving script avoids any dull moments and both actors successfully rise to the occasion.

Foster turns Zoe from sweet natured to dark rage in the blink of an eye whilst Drew-Honey exudes both a vulnerability and malignant menace as Danny. There is no doubt that each character is hiding something and that is the key to the drama that ensues.

Director Steven Kunis brilliantly ramps up the tension and in so doing delivers a production that works on so many levels.

Special mentions must also go to design (Ceci Calf), lighting (Ryan Joseph Stafford) and sound (Dan Samson), each working in perfect harmony to provide a claustrophobic sometimes horrifying atmosphere throughout the play.

For thriller fans this is a must watch ………clever, emotional, disturbing and intense – what more could you ask for?

Available on demand from May 10th to May 30th 2021

Reviewer: Kiefer Williams

Reviewed: 30th April 2021

North West End UK Rating: ★★★★★