“Tenderness barely gets a moment...” Who's the voyeur? And come to that, who is the gullible public? Hanging over this gruesome, savagely chopped-up narrative like a swinging corpse is fate and its repercussions...
“More like a splintery illusion than something satisfyingly unified...” Plotting its decline, Ridley ponders the wretchedness of post-industrial society and the violence of desensitised youth, while also riffing about UFOs, the crisis of faith and viral video clips...
“Beautifully acted and designed production...” Some find it extraordinary that Ridley is also a master of writing for children. But again that is to fail to feel the potential for magic that the adult plays, where innocence (as here) is so violated, long to get back to...
“Ridley's excoriating politics come sprinkled with fairy dust...” But if the energy of the story dissipates, the performances, particularly from Joseph Drake and Josh Williams as Ryan and Jack, remain fiercely committed...
“This bleak, attention-seeking play...” Drake's violent revulsion convinces but neither he nor Olivia Poulet's Lyn – Alec's mother – move us. Ridley also wackily throws in a monster, a clairvoyant and UFOs – the supernatural further debilitating credibility. Shivered made me shudder.
“The most exciting piece of new writing on the London stage...” Instead of telling this story in a straight linear way, Ridley chops it up into 17 scenes which are shown out of sequence. The effect is that of watching an elaborate account of extreme emotional experience...
“A powerful drama...” Though perhaps sometimes guilty in the past of self-indulgent word-spinning, Shivered shows Ridley at his imaginative best in what is arguably his most moving and accessible adult play to date...
The Arts Desk
“Ridley is British theatre’s prince of imaginative writing...” The heightened emotions of the characters have shattered, or shivered, the linear narrative, and exposed all the pieces to our gaze, intrigued, appalled, voyeuristic...