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An intense West End political thriller with a limited run
The West End debut of Richard Vergette's political thriller American Justice is making quite a buzz after its opening earlier this week. After being awarded four star reviews from The Times, The Evening Standard, and Whats on Stage, many people are now alerted to the visceral life force that is now playing at the Arts Theatre until 9 February. The play lives up to its reputation.
The play, set in the American Deep South, is an in-depth character study of the complexities of human behaviour. The focal point of the drama is the relationship between Congressman John Daniels (Peter Tate) and convicted murderer Lee Fenton (Ryan Gage). Fenton's crime is especially personal to Daniels - he is serving life in prison for killing the Congressman's only daughter. Still, John Daniels insists that Fenton escapes the death penalty, instead demanding that he is permitted to educate Lee Fenton in prison.
via the Arts Theatre
Forgiveness, morality, politics, and poverty are all examined, leaving the audience with much to think and talk about afterwards. The play really soars in its final 20 minutes, when a series of twists and unpredictable plot turns reveal motives, truths, and doubts that keep the audience at the edge of their seats.
The acting is superb, and the play runs smoothly and remains fast-paced under Lisa Forrell's superior direction. In addition to masterful performances of extremely complex characters by Peter Tate and Ryan Gage, David Schaal is excellent as an antagonistic prison warden. His tendency to heavily quote the Bible and simultaneously dismiss its message may ring nauseatingly true to anyone who has experienced that part of the world.
Running only 75 minutes and without an interval, American Justice is an intense ride. With tickets ranging from only £17.50 to £22.50, this show offers a chance to experience high quality West End theatre at one of the most affordable prices. Visit the Arts Theatre's website here for more information.