Douglas Post’s absorbing and witty one-man thriller Bloodshot is a show-case for the talents of the sole actor on stage – the multi-talented Simon Slater. For two hours, Slater holds attention effortlessly, acting as storyteller, chief protagonist and an array of “uspects” in this compelling murder mystery. You soon forget that you are watching just one man on a sparsely-furnished stage.
Set in 1950s London, Bloodshot tells the story of a down-at-heel photographer, “employed” to covertly photograph a pretty, young, Black woman, and who unwittingly becomes embroiled in a murder mystery. He encounters a full range of characters – including an Irish ukulele-playing comedian, a sleazy saxophone player and a flamboyant Russian magician – in his attempts to unravel the mystery.
While this play would work well as a traditional thriller, Patrick Sandford’s production is given the edge with his tight and evocative direction, neat lighting effects and photographic projection. But most particularly the talents of Slater himself, who delivers an extra-ordinary and exhausting performance with huge physical and emotional demands placed upon him. As he tells the story, and becomes each of the successive cast of characters, he proves to be a versatile and accomplished musician, comedian and conjurer.