As a man struggles to recall a memory, the story unfolds retrospectively in fractured moments of dreams and reality. After a period of well-built tension, we begin to comprehend that the memory involves a strange woman whose larynx has been taken out, and a murder. At some point, it is suggested that the woman might have escaped from a mental hospital.
However, the man, Roach, knows that she is an angel and he needs her as only she can help with a plan Roach and his friends have made. The plan? Extermination of all non-whites in England before the end of the millennium by the means of bubonic plague.
Dale Smith is a young award-winning playwright based at the Royal Exchange in Manchester. His play The Lunatic has here been produced by an equally young theatre company, Channel 12.
There is a Pinter-esque atmosphere to the play, which is, however, very contemporary, well-crafted and original. Despite this, the staging - in traverse, with the titles of various scenes displayed on opposite ends of the stage - gives it the feel of nothing more than a polished student production. It is tight, but the characters are underdeveloped and unconvincing.
Duska Radosavljevic Heaney