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David Porter » Reviews » Vincent in Brixton

Vincent in Brixton

Maddermarket Theatre, Norwich

Review published in the Eastern Daily Press, 25 June 2005

Vincent in Brixton

Would Vincent van Gogh be remembered today if he had become a preacher? We’ll never know. His destiny was to paint and his life led that way.

It’s that early life in the form of a portrait of an artist as a young man that is the burden of this play.

It is a fresh perspective, though it divided the critics from breathless admiration to ‘an impersonation of writing’.

Director Rhett Davies takes the five-strong cast through the twists of fortune as young Vincent works for an art dealer in London and lodges in Brixton.

Falling first for the daughter – elegantly played by Millie Woolsey-Brown, despite her ties to a fellow lodger amusingly played by Owen Bevan – he discovers art is the rightful property of the working man.

Vincent (Roland Jeffs) – the compelling, single-minded obsessive, unable to keep a secret – is the detective worrying away at the mysteries of the house, and he was just superb

The widow (Judi Daykin), magnificently raging at the futility of life renewing itself in the young while attracted to Vincent’s ruefulness, was pivotal as her ultimate isolation descended even as she recognised Vincent’s genius.

A commendable show, and all credit to the Maddermarket for taking on recent writing and for performing it so well.

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