The Capone Trilogy @ C nova

Review by Eric Karoulla | 14 Aug 2014
  • The Capone Trilogy

Last year, Jethro Compton brought The Bunker Trilogy to the Fringe. Loki (***), Lucifer (***) and Vindici (****)  are the three plays that form Compton's new weighty The Capone trilogy, which comes to the festival alongside a revival of its older sibling The Bunker Trilogy.

The plays take place at different points during the reign and downfall of Capone and his gang, specifically from 1923 to 1943. While they are compiled as a trilogy, with each play about an hour long, the plot in each can stand on its own, so it is not necessary to watch all three. Having said that, it feels important to mention that the last – and darkest – one of the three, Vindici, does refer to events that happen in the first (Loki) and second one (Lucifer) in passing, but understanding it doesn't require any knowledge of the other two. 

Written by Jamie Wilkes, The Capone Trilogy has punchy, fast dialogue and quickens the pace to build up suspense in all the right places. Furthermore, Compton's direction makes it a feat of endurance for the actors, as the same cast of three take on multiple roles in each play and so makes it incredibly physical, particularly when one character leaves the room and another is introduced. Through the sheer number of roles they take on, Suzie Preece, David Calvitto and Oliver Tilney demonstrate their agility as actors, ranging from the comical to the vengeful. Each play gives each actor the opportunity to take on the leading role, while the plots and themes certainly get darker and darker from one play to the next. Loki is undoubtedly the funniest, while Vindici feels like the most intense. Any of these plays will do if you want to get a feel for what might have occurred in Chicago during this time period. 

The brilliance of the trilogy, however, seems to lie in its immersive set as envisioned by Compton. Much like The Bunker Trilogy, the set is contained within one room. The intelligent use of the set is best showcased in the first chapter Loki, when Tilney ends up playing two characters who are meant to be in the room at the same time. Unfortunately, being in an enclosed space also means that it can get uncomfortably hot over the course of the play, so bringing water or a cold drink is recommended. Moreover, the size of the space doesn't allow for much moving around, and means that carrying any bulky bags or items could interfere with the smooth flowing of the production.

The Capone Trilogy: Loki @ C Nova
Until Aug 25, 2.00 p.m.,
various prices

The Capone Trilogy: Lucifer @ C Nova
Until Aug 25, 6.00 p.m.,
various prices

The Capone trilogy: Vindici @ C Nova,
Until Aug 25, 8.40p.m.,
various prices