The Cancellation of Crispin Cox ★★★★ Alfred Taylor-Gaunt & Aisling Tara (online) | Jul 29 - Aug 29, 2021


Meet the most dangerous understudy since All About Eve! Crispin Cox has just replaced his 'very best friend' in a musical version of Les Liaisons Dangereuses. We are invited into the would-be star's dressing room and the more he puts his makeup on the more he bares all. In fact, this very funny piece is all about revelations. Cox has used strategic exposure of his colleagues to climb the theatrical ladder and he manipulates cancel culture to his advantage. Michael Conley plays his character to the point of caricature but that is part of the fun. The jokes work even though we can anticipate many of them, just as we can foresee the outcome of Crispin's skullduggery. The humour is broad and familiar, but Conley's over-the-top performance makes it work. Novelty is not always required to have a thoroughly enjoyable theatrical experience and that's what this is. However, underlying the surface of this silly, campy little play, some serious, yet satirical, commentary on cancel culture is revealed. As Crispin looks at himself in the mirror we are forced to see the perils of not allowing people to change and grow. When we insist on judgmentally holding up past behaviour as a reflection on people's present, we can distort ourselves and our society. The most dangerous of all liaisons nowadays can be our engagement with the indelible and unforgiving world of social media.

Rated: ★★★★

Reviewed by J.C.
Photo by Jane Hobson.

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