Lock Up - La Mama

1 May 2012 | 9:35 pm | Simon Eales

Damien Richardson's Lock Up is an often gripping example of the three-blokes-cooped-up-in-a-small-space theatrical form. Uninspired performances and a dreary script are the perils of this kind of theatre, but neither burden this piece.

A timid kid, Jason (Tom Barton), gets incarcerated overnight for some funny, drunken shenanigans. Things escalate when he meets his cellmate, the borderline psychopath Myerhold (played by Damien Richardson, who also directs). Behind barred windows their past demons return; nerves are tested and the tension heaves. Richardson delivers Myerhold's creepy and imposing behaviour with captivating precision and the piece unfolds into an intense character study of the outsider's personality. In the slammer, without a structured mental landscape, sanity frays and tragedy looms.

Barton and Richardson's interplay kneads every nuance, and manages to bunny-hop the script's lull at mid-point. In a slightly stilted performance, Andrew Mabbott still manages to loom over proceedings, humorous in his ambivalence. Tight and sensitive independent theatre.

Wednesday to Sunday until 13 May