Snowflakes ★★★★ Old Red Lion Theatre | Sep 28 - Oct 16, 2021


Snowflakes is author Robert Boulton's debut play and it certainly packs a powerful punch. Tony, a successful author with issues, wakes in a hotel room after a night of debauchery; 'room service' isn't quite what he expected when a strange pair of contract killers hurtle in. The play becomes a dystopian cat and mouse game about morality and retribution. The title, Snowflakes, comes from the pejorative term for young people with an inflated sense of uniqueness. There are definite echoes of Black Mirror, Pinter's The Dumb Waiter and, maybe Dorfman's Death and the Maiden. The play might be a little over-complicated as Boulton crams in so many issues and twists, but it is a tremendous debut. Under the expert direction by Michael Cottrell, we are given thrilling performances with some of the most violent fights and disturbing torture we have ever seen at such close quarters; all three hurl each other across the tiny stage. The acting is quite outstanding with Boulton himself playing Marcus, the principal sadistic assassin, with the superb Niamh Finlay as his novice cohort. Poor Henry Davis as Tony is repeatedly violently tortured and beaten up but gets the opportunity to deliver a powerful monologue. These performances are incredibly realistic and deserve the highest accolades. It would be wrong to recommend this play without warning of extremely strong language and violence. This is, however, a fascinating piece of theatre, superbly played. Every edge of every snowflake is razor sharp.

Rated: ★★★★

Reviewed by D.S.J.

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