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The Pitchfork Disney

Dark, dystopian and sexually dysfunctional. Just how we like our theatre.


In the intimate setting of the Arcola (which has moved since the last time we went, oops) we sat for a no interval 80 minute ride, strapped into the imagination of Philip Ridley.

What unfolds is unnerving and bizarre, as The Pitchfork Disney is packed full of audition-friendly freakish monologues about nightmares, obsessively retold by the central characters, the somewhat retarded twins Presley and Hayley. The former is played by Chris New (Yep, that bloke from Weekend) who leads the whole brilliant cast to a stunning climax. Chris' character oozes an oddball charm and naivety that, combined with Mariah Gale's wide-eyed dumbfoundedness can't help but make you laugh. The chocoholic agrophobes make an awkward but thoroughly entertaining comedy duo. You feel bad for laughing, but there's a reciprocal glee from the performers in disgusting the audience as even a story about frying a live snake becomes perversely thrilling to listen to.

Just when you think things are settling into a routine, a new character is introduced, with increasing weirdness. It's a fantastic play, perfectly staged and a million miles from the saccharine slop you'll encounter in the West End.

*****(five stars)

You should totally follow Chris New on twitter, he was doing some special offer on tickets for his followers the other day.

The Pitchfork Disney runs until 17 March at the Arcola Theatre in the ever-so trendy Dalston. Book over 'ere.

Words: Bob Henderson
Image:Anabel Vere


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