Venue: The Forum Studio Theatre

Where: Chester

Writer Chris Leicester has decided to open his new play in the city he resides and is delivering North West theatregoers an excellent evening of entertainment.

As well as entertaining, Slasher Kincade provokes thought, makes you question the corporate world and - if you’ve had experience of the modern workplace – familiarises you with some of the scenarios being created.

Leicester’s new play, which he is also directing, has been written during the ongoing doom and gloom of a worldwide recession, where cuts have to be made for those business advances.

And the overriding issue being shown in Slasher Kincade is greed vs compassion. One person represents one and another person the other.

Three actors, two chairs, and effective use of lighting and sound is all that is used to tell the story. Kevin Brannagan represents greed as the fat, arrogant boss Kincade and is menacing whenever on stage even by just a simple stare.

Chris Carney represents more of a compassionate side as Robert and steps up to Kincade to challenge his decisions, even though he does so somewhat unsuccessfully. Stuck between the two is Daniel (Gray Hughes), an employee who lacks in self-confidence and is the complete opposite to the more self assured pair of Kincade and Robert.

The main storyline running concurrently throughout the play is the build-up to an important convention speech Daniel has to deliver in order to save Robert’s new business from collapsing.

We become the audience which Robert and Daniel practice with and whereas Carney brilliantly shows Robert’s confidence in speaking – making eye contact with every single one of us – Hughes successfully shows the torture his character Daniel suffers as he becomes haunted by sounds of laughing which take him back to childhood days he’d rather forget.

The pair also fall into fantasy pretending to be in a car rally race – to highlight team work at its best – and also envisage being on a battlefield, where using their own initiative is required the most.

In a desperate attempt to get Daniel to overcome his fears, Robert suffers an unfortunate injury. We are left clutching to the hope Daniel can finally pluck up the courage and deliver his speech.

Slasher Kincade is a play that is cut back to the bare minimum where imagination runs riot. A brilliant evening of live entertainment and theatre at its rawest best.

It runs at The Forum Studio Theatre in Chester until Saturday, before returning to the region at Liverpool’s Unity Theatre in the summer after a stint in London.

-Michael Hunt