Donny Stixx shares his unconventional pathway into show business in this new monologue by London-based playwright Philip Ridley. If you are a Ridley fan, this won’t disappoint. Messed up, mentally ill minor? Negligent parents? Intrusive violent thoughts experienced by the maniac protagonist? It has everything you’d expect. The plot is predictable but the performance is anything but. Sean Michael Verey is phenomenal as Donny. He performs with relentless energy and skillful precision, flicking between different characters and opposing tones with such ease that you almost forgive Ridley’s purposefully inflammatory style.
It is rare that an actor can ‘get’ a playwright’s style so completely; I’ve seen many Ridley productions and often find casts struggle to embrace his particularly choppy style. Verey seems to understand the off beat rhythm that circulates under Ridley’s text and he embraces it with vitality and variation throughout.
The 80-minute running time is above average for most one-man shows, but I didn’t notice as Verey’s dynamism keeps one’s attention unrelentingly. He doesn’t miss a trick.