If you can get passed the awkward title it’s difficult not to enjoy the sinister journey of Victim Sidekick Boyfriend Me. A callous teenage student is responsible for the terrible demise of a seemingly perfect fellow classmate. Happily implicating her ‘best friend’, the girl avoids a jail sentence and is instead welcomed by family and friends of the Victim herself. The Victim’s fiancé appears to have forgiven our remorseless protagonist but the longer she stays with her new friends, the more we suspect their motives aren’t quite so altruistic.
This is a cracking wee story about conscience and retribution. Beautifully well-contained it leaves a strong impression, largely owing to the persuasive and shocking acting of Madeleine Todd as she violently grabs the audience, never letting go. She annihilates her sweet and dainty image with unabashed dirty looks, aggressive gestures and icy glares. However as she seems to soften, we begin to see a less squeaky-clean side to her Christian friends.
The sense of foreboding hangs in the air throughout and tense atmosphere is never amiss. Scenes end suddenly and unexpectedly, a blanket of darkness falling on stage accompanied by an abrupt cracking sound. The Victim stands on stage throughout the performance, a pervading presence smiling down angelically as the framed Sidekick sits beneath, hunched over herself, hair hanging limply around her face.
Victim Sidekick raises obvious questions about punishment and retribution, subjects on which most of us hold an opinion. The difference here is the sinister and unexpected way in which the ideas are approached and dealt with. The humour is dark, the performance intense, the story gripping and the stirrings of empathy with which we leave are uncomfortable and enduring. [Rebecca Paul]
Also playing at the Lyceum, 15 Junhttp://www.lyceum.org.uk/victim
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