Stacy, written by Jack Thorne is a one man play which really does pull the rug from underneath you and then continues to hit you round the head with it. It’s fast, hilarious and shocking, performed with tremendous skill by actor Nick McQuillan.

I don’t want to give too much away, as part of the power of the production is the surprise of it all. It follows the story of Rob, a sort of everyman who has just had sex with his best friend, the titular Stacy. It takes in his whole life leading up to this moment and the immediate consequences. The writing is incredibly sharp and no word goes amiss in this complex and multi-layered story. It truly is a feat of writing; It seems at times one of the most honest pieces of theatre I have seen and then at times the most deceptive. It’s rude and shocking but underneath this is the most subtle manipulation of emotion that is truly unsettling.

Actor Nick McQuillan is (for better or for worse) an utterly believable and tremendously likeable performer, a quality which is twisted in such a brilliant way throughout the play. He takes you across the line from comic to tragic so naturally and is a master of timing, pace, subtly and rhythm. It’s a simple production (one actor, no real set) and the monologue is supplemented by a collection of photos projected onto a screen, expertly timed (and not suitable for children/animal lovers/those of a nervous disposition), which all works brilliantly. Although the production is simple the overall effect of the play, with the perfect marriage of script and actor, is anything but.

TND Rating

* * * *

It’s just finished at the Pleasance now (boo) but it’s touring so keep track of it on the company’s website http://www.playontheatre.co.uk/

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