The Collector by Mark Healy at The Vaults

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Another adventure into The Vaults presented us with Mark Healy’s adaptation of John Fowles, ‘The Collector’. In one of the many archways we sat down in front of a cluttered cellar that was to be the setting of the show.

Frederick is a strange man: he collects butterflies. Not that that makes him strange, it is what else he wishes to collect… Raised by his aunt and cousin, his life changes when he wins the lottery. With his winnings he buys a remote cottage and then sets about acquiring his next collectable – a girl he has been stalking.

This was a fascinating two hander made all the more intriguing by the nature of each character. Frederick was slightly simple and unable to understand basic cultural mores, yet at no point was he physically violent or sexual towards Miranda. He just wanted her to love him, an impossible task for Miranda. For her part, she tries her best to make do with her situation, but is not able to not stop herself from berating Frederick for his simple view of life and his confused morals. Lily Loveless was very good in this role, jumping between the character’s emotions brilliantly, whilst Daniel Portman as Frederick was sinister but also slightly endearing at times, generating a creepily uneasy atmosphere.

This was a really gripping piece of theatre, set brilliantly and performed very well by two young actors. Catch it at The Vaults until 28th of August.

Highlight of the piece – the consequences of the wine on the last night leading to an intense scene.

WIGS 4/5

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