The Alchemist

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The Alchemist
© Joe Rizzo-Naudi

Dunnico Theatre's take on Ben Johnson's 'The Alchemist' is set in Highgate, during last summer's riots. But the potential to contemporise this classic of anarchic exuberance and crime is left unfulfilled. Jon Barton's production simply doesn't engage with the unrest in any fulfilling way: it is mentioned briefly in the form of an audio clip played at the beginning of the show and not followed up with any further references.

The performances are varied but competent overall, with Sahil Batra standing out in the role of Subtle. Playing the titular conman, he is charismatic and captivating, and the role shows his versatility as an actor, juggling multiple personas as the comic heart of the piece. The few moments when Sir Epicure Mammon (Gareth Pilkington) and Surly (Glenn Mortimer) are on stage together with Subtle are also great fun. An entertaining but shallow reading.


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1 person listening

Really loved it! Great to see a classic brought into the twenty first century! Funny too. Loved Khastril. That guy is wow