Bacon ★★★★★ Finborough Theatre | Until April 2, 2022


Bacon sizzles with inchoate teenage emotions and adolescent angst. Sophie Swithinbank has done a masterful job of capturing the pain of being fifteen that can leave scars for a lifetime. Mark (Corey Montague-Sholay) comes from a loving home but is an insecure loner who is prone to depression. Darren (William Robinson) is the product of an abusive family life, and his coping skills have become fantasy and aggression. The two boys strike up an unlikely relationship which leads to an emotional entanglement that neither are equipped to deal with. Their friendship seesaws in a power dynamic and intimacy that confuses both. Montague-Sholay creates a nuanced portrait as the withdrawn, vulnerable Mark. His neediness and desire for approval are positively palpable. This understated performance is perfectly complemented by Robinson's volatile and unstable extrovert, Darren. One feels the rawness of his pain and cowers at his rages, while his moments of frailty are movingly portrayed. Director, Matthew Iliffe, makes the most of his cast and the limited space he has to work in, and ultimately they all succeed in creating a captivating picture of young people who while striving to cope with a threatening and confusing exterior world must also come to terms with their equally complex inner tumult. For a moving and insightful theatrical experience, you need to see Bacon.

Rated: ★★★★★

Reviewed by J.C.
Photo by Ali Wright.

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