By Arne Sjostedt
Breaking the Castle
By Peter Cook
Reviewed Thursday 5 March. On till 14 March
Capturing the experience of going through drug addiction and out the other side, actor and writer Peter Cook weaves an expansive tale that locks you in.
Thankfully Cook and his production team get the balance right between representing the sordid life of a coke/ice/sex addict and capitalising on the opportunity to present an engaging and enlightening piece of theatre.
There are moments in the play where you are uplifted into the mind’s eye of a coke binge, or shown the beatific function of nature in the unique patterns on butterfly wings. The highs are thrilling, his panic real, and the mercy of life equally as tangible when an opportunity to escape his self delivered torture presents itself.
What a life humans lead as we struggle through gaining insight into our drives and lust for diversion. Though as Cook’s character discovers, there is no easy street when addiction grips.
Masterfully directed by Caroline Stacey, proving an opportunity for Cook to show off his “triple A grade” acting chops to wonderful effect, there was a crafted rhythm to the play that made sure people stayed engaged.
Future iterations may want to rethink the ending, which felt a little out of synch with the broader narrative journey. Yet when the lights went down on this well designed production - everybody left with a sense of awe at the capacity of art and humanity to triumph over tragedy - if you give it the hard work opportunity asks for.