BWW Review: SILK ROAD, VAULT Festival

BWW Review: SILK ROAD, VAULT Festival

BWW Review: SILK ROAD, VAULT FestivalBruce is an everyday run of the mill Geordie lad who desires more for his life. Living with his Nan he is unemployed and moping over a childhood sweetheart that has upped sticks and gone off to university. Unsure of his life's direction, he discovers Silk Road; a backdoor to the dark web where all sorts of dangerous dealings go on undetected.

What are some of the dangerous dealings? Well, as the subtitle suggests it's: 'how to buy drugs online.' How is this possible? Postman Pat delivers them straight to your door standard class, and his black and white cat is none the wiser.

The story of this plays creation is exciting in itself. After a call out on the real Silk Road forums for contributions to funding, an anonymous donor donated two bitcoin. Since then, bitcoin value has plummeted and two bitcoin are currently worth just over £15,000. Playwright Alex Oates as funded the entire production with this crypto currency.

Oates has done a tremendous job, and alongside director Dominic Shaw they have both created a production that is a rollercoaster of emotion from start to finish. The writing is electric, bouncy and with a vibrancy that constantly keeps you on your toes.

Josh Barrow brings the piece to life with his hour-long epic monologue, in which he plays a total of five different characters. Never once dipping in energy, his physicality and voice drastically change with each new person portrayed, and this allows him to demonstrate a lot of emotional depth and comic timing. It's a fantastic performance from a promising young actor.

Throughout you're really taken on a great story that ends up being rounded of incredibly well. Oates writes with a slickness and brutality that Shaw exploits brilliantly in his staging. The end result is a production that is of the finest quality, and it'll probably end up being one of the highlights of this year's festival.

Silk Road at the VAULT Festival until 28 January

Photo credit: Silk Road The Play


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From This Author Alistair Wilkinson