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Stacy by Jack Thorne

4 starsPleasance Islington (tickets and information)
Until Sunday 29 January, 7:45pm
Reviewed by Alice de Cent

In Jack Thorne’s one-man show Stacy, protagonist Rob takes the audience through the events of his last two days.  He tells an unflinchingly honest story, that swerves moment-to-moment from the outrageously funny, to the outright disturbing.

Rob’s tale is illustrated by a slideshow projected behind him. For the most part, this is made up of photographs of the people he mentions, but these are occasionally intercut with more sinister scenes – and various pornographic images too.

Nic McQuillan is captivating as Rob, ably holding the audience’s attention through the hour-long monologue.  He manages both the comic moments, and the more emotional extremes truthfully. His portrayal of Rob evokes empathy, whilst skillfully unsettling the audience through his account of the days’ events. 

With only the slideshow, a chair and a bottle of water on the stage, McQuillan has been given a great challenge. It’s one he fully rises to. Where the pace slows, though, a few moments could benefit from stronger direction. The script breaks up the narrative in an interesting way, but a firmer directorial hand could craft an overall arc that would more fully support the character’s journey.

Taking the audience nimbly through moments of laughter, discomfort and real shock, PlayOn Theatre’s production of Stacy is complex and challenging. This personal tale is both startling and subtle – and McQuillan engages the audience throughout, crafting a journey that leads us through swings of emotion and leaves us with an unsettling uncertainty.

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