I KNOW WHAT YOU
Fringe Festival Rating of
Know What You Want :
in North London bedsit land, in this gritty black comedy, two women
and a man form a dangerous love triangle while trying to hide the
truth from themselves and each other. A compelling and very funny
play about self-delusion, addiction and suppressed sexuality.
cost of a packet of fags, a bottle of vodka and a sofa to kip on
rockets to Machiavellian proportions. Can Thatcher be blamed for
everything? This thunderous black comedy plumbs the depths of bad
taste and the height of camp noir melodrama.
lurches from one inane thought to the next, painfully trying to
fill the void of her pointless life. Tony, the failed poet, clinically
depressed, weak willed and esperately addicted to the drink. Joan
a bitter, broken down something in the city, her brain addled with
cocaine and morbid childhood memories. All three attempting petty
deceits in a scramble for advantage.
Royle Family" meets "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane"
The Playwright /
was born in County Limerik, Ireland. Since moving to London
he has written three successful short plays that were performed
as part of Take Two at the Canal Café Theatre
last year: So Bloody Important, performed off Broadway.
last production of Artist's Model at Bristol Old Vic
& Komedia Brighton received critical acclaim. His
short film: The Snatching of Bookie Bob, starring
Rod Steiger, was recently premiered at Planet Hollywood
Fringe Festival 2000
Date August 24, 2000
comedies will never be the same again. Writer and director Jim Madden's
new play is up front and blackly humorous, but it leaves a very
Sarah Mann is astonishing as the hyperactive and frustrated Penny.
She invites alcoholic writer Tony (Michael D'Cruze) to stay, and
proceeds to batter him with endless babbling sentences and to make
crude attempts to control him.
Penny's flatmate - soon to be revealed as her similarly psychotic
sister - is the viperfish Joan (Stephanie Prince), who sees Tony
as the weapon that will break her weird sibling once and for all.
D'Cruze has the heavy-lidded lushness of Serge Gainsbourg and a
tangible air of danger about him. He is quietly wonderful in the
role of Tony, who crystallises the unsavoury emotions and machinations
of the sisters.
There's nothing subtle about this production. 'Good' sister Penny
wears white, 'bad' sister Joan is dressed in black, vodka boy Tony's
clothing is dark grey. And the acting is knowingly melodramatic,
with Prince in particular stopping barely short of foaming at the
Publication: Southern Daily Echo
Date: March 21st 2001
illness is a common theme in drama, but it can also make for winning
Writer-director Jim Madden gets to grips with one of Western society's
few remaining taboos and leaves political correctness quietly exiting
by the back door.
There may be hardly any plot to speak of. However, this is one of
the most delightfully inconsequential plays I have seen in a long
Michael D'Cruze is the unwitting homeless man who, having just been
sent packing from a psychiatric institute lands up on the sofa of
a North London flat - whose inmates turn out to be far more certifiable
The joy of the play is in its brilliant dialogue.
Fringe Festival 2001
Venue Komedia Roman Eagle lodge (21), 2 Johnstone Terrace
Reviewer Garry Platt
Know What You Want' was a big hit on the Fringe last year and the
piece has been reprised for the benefit of theatre audiences who
want to see it again or missed it the last time. I'm not sure I
agree with repeats, in some ways it doesn't seem in keeping with
the spirit of the fringe which is essentially about new and fresh
pieces of work, revolution or evolution. This production is virtually
the same as last year's.
said the work is excellent and it's obvious why the show won 5 stars
during its previous run. Sarah Mann captures the very wacky and
weird character of Penny superbly and the little flashes of ice-cold
terror that swim beneath that dotty exterior and break to the surface
occasionally are startling. Jim Madden, the unreformed alcoholic
and professional sponger delivers a well-studied bumbling delivery.
Lorna Ford as Joan is every inch the She Bitch Queen Yuppy who's
clearly lost her way but can't admit it either to herself or her
flat mates, though mates is hardly the word to describe these three
play delivered by a more than excellent cast. Worth seeing if only
for the fantastically lurid green set Robert Palfrey the set designer
has put together. Please tell me no one actually lives with that
sort of colour scheme?
Fringe Festival 2001
John Christopher Wood
Date: 22 June - 6 July 2001
Venue: The Rondo
my favourite show this year (modesty requires me to draw a veil
over 'An Evening With Sir Cliff Richard and John Selwyn Gummer'
by John Christopher Wood at The Rondo) was Incisor Theatre's 'I
Know What You Want'. This three-handed comedy, about two strange
sisters who invite a forlorn and broke writer to stay in their flat,
developed superbly, layer on layer, as more and more was revealed
about each character's strangeness, not least their sexual proclivities.
Wonderful, confident, versatile performances, tight direction and
a carefully crafted script brought the production to peaks of comic
frenzy. More, please.
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Aug 3-26 (not Mons) 17.55 (19.20) Tickets £ 8.00 (£6.00)
© Garry Platt August 2001