Twist in this Bloodshot detective tale at Greenwich Theatre
Bloodshot starts with drunk, down-on-his-luck ex-policeman turned photographer Derek Eveleigh contemplating committing suicide in 1950s London.
He has been driven to this after an anonymous benefactor asked him to take clandestine pictures of an exotic woman walking in Holland Park.
Three weeks into his assignment he witnesses her being shot in the head in street by an unseen gunman.
He takes it upon himself to investigate her murder and finds out she filed a complaint after being raped by three men – an Irish comedian, an American jazz musician and her Russian boss – in the West End nightclub in which she worked as a magician’s assistant.
He meets all three during the course of his inquiries and all meet sticky ends.
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A one-man play, Simon Slater – a regular in Spooks, Monarch of the Glen and Inspector Morse –takes on all these roles and really shows off his versatility as an actor.
He is compelling as anti-hero Eveleigh, really giving the impression he is living the part rather than just spouting lines; is ‘‘craic-ing’’ as ukulele-playing comedian McKinley; plays saxophone and sings well as jazz musician Bryant and is nifty with his magic tricks as club owner Koslov.
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Douglas Post’s script seems to be a homage to film noir and echoes his fellow American James McElroy’s novels and film adaptations, such as LA Confidential. Clever use of lighting, tinkling piano and back projection also add a filmic quality. There’s a nice twist too.
Bloodshot is at Greenwich Theatre until Sunday, November 6. For tickets and information call 020 8858 7755 or visit www.greenwichtheatre.org.uk