'The Suicide' - Nikolai Erdman
Hull University Drama Society
End 07/08 Term, Asylum
Mike Loader’s throat must really hurt after these shows. Don’t get me wrong, the man is a good actor and clearly has an impressive memory, but inevitably at any sign of passionate rage, Loader will hurl words into the audience with the strength of a force five tornado. He was though, an energetic front man for Drama Society’s intellectually ambitious production of Nikolai Erdman’s The Suicide.The first half of the play was admittedly painfully long and tedious in places, but this was well supplanted by the superior humour of the second half. Quirky moments such as the players mock-complaining about being cast as coffin carriers while changing set complimented the comedic elements present within the play. Particularly noteworthy (as always) was Matthew Revil, a talented actor with an apparent gift for on stage crying. Two other regulars who made their usual good impression were Rory Stobo, a man who simply commands the stage, and Anna Corbett , who was a hit as a hysterical housewife.
Asylum is not a versatile theatrical venue, but the set and props, including a full sized working door, were effective and well utilized. Some of the costumes complimented the effort put into set design and fitted the theme of Soviet Russia, but occasional others looked rather too blatantly hot off the Primarni cat walk.Aside from the customary Drama Soc late start, the farcical course of The Suicide was portrayed fairly well. It was generally enjoyable, and though some parts could have benefited more directorial attention, as the programme rightly said – ‘Russian disco music, a perverted postman, and a coffin. What more could you want?’