Fury at Soho Theatre
From the pen of Soho Theatre’s 2016 Writer-in-Residence Phoebe Eclair-Powell, Fury is billed as a “Modern Medea” in reference to the ancient Greek tragedy of murderous matriarchal vengeance wrought by the spurned ex-wife of Jason, leader of the Argonauts.
With a contemporary narrative focused on single mum Sam’s stunted, claustrophobic existence in a Peckham council flat, the play brings yet more classical influence to bear with its clever use of a Chorus of three (Naana Agyei-Ampadu, Daniel Kendrick and Anita-Joy Awajeh). At once amid and apart from the action, the trio circle and swoop upon the unfolding story as they gild it with a varied cast of supporting characters and a narrative that’s alive with lyrical imagery, contrasting judgements and musical refrains from a playlist of current club land hits.
While abundant pace and energy are established through the Chorus’s frenetically poetic three-pronged assault, responsibility for providing an emotional heart for the piece falls to the lead role of Sam. In a performance reminiscent of that which earned Denise Gough universal acclaim (and a Best Actress Olivier Award) in People, Places and Things, Sarah Ridgeway delivers that and more with a remarkable performance of ever-escalating intensity.
Initially a model of stoic resignation to her parental responsibilities, Sam’s composure is terminally upset after an appeal to turn down his music brings her to the attention of sleazy and devious upstairs neighbour Tom (Alex Austin). By spurning Tom’s romantic advances, Sam triggers her own downfall via a spiral of manipulation and self-loathing that Ridgeway incrementally embodies with heartbreaking authenticity all the way through to the harrowing climax of this profoundly affecting work.
An absolute triumph and a must-see.
Fury is on at Soho Theatre from 5th until 30th July 2016, for further information or to book visit here.
Read our interview with director Phoebe Eclair-Powell here.
Watch a teaser trailer for Fury here: