I was curious how EatTheBaby was going to pull off A Clockwork Orange. It has been done many times before by various theatre companies, but I had never had the opportunity to see any of them. The violence. The visual brilliance of the movie. And at only a little over an hour long! How were they going to do this?
The play skips a lot of the beginning, keeping only a couple of the well known scenes, including a well choreographed fight scene with a rival gang after interrupting a gang rape. Before you know it, we are in prison with lead character, Alex, and we are awaiting the experiment.
The cuts are warranted and the story does not lose any of its power because of them. All of the famous scenes are there though, sadly, it does not have any of the visual magic of the movie. Saying that, there is a very beautiful and creative visual trick towards the end involving Alex's attempted suicide which is simple but incredibly effective. No, I won't tell you what it is. You'll just have to go and see it.
The whole cast are fantastic and play a number of roles each. The young actor who plays Alex is committed to that character alone, but is undoubtedly the star of the show. At times I swear he was better than Malcolm McDowell. More human and, therefore, much more frightening.
A little bit of me (well, maybe a bit bigger than a little) was looking forward to the violence and the horror of the movie - but it never really came. And ‘that' eye device during the experiment? No sign. So, if there is an over -riding complaint, or disappointment, it would have to be that the visual elements that are so iconic were generally left out.
That aside, however, this is still a decent production with a standout performance by its lead.
Times: 5-21 August, 10pm