Simon Slater's performance in Bloodshot is an absolute treat and well worth seeing at the St. James Studio if you can catch it before 25 January.
His performance is engaging and energetic from the get-go and at the end it's easy to forget that this play is performed by one actor, not five. He serves Douglas Post's writing very well indeed and much credit must also go to director Patrick Sandford.
The studio, arranged in cabaret-style, is the perfect location for this mysterious tale. Bloodshot is a detective story set in 1957 with a few interesting twists and turns and, if we're honest, some clichés too, but the whole production is strong enough to banish any minor doubts.
One really senses the audience's intense engagement with Slater as he portrays Derek, a 'copper'-turned-photographer, who guides us through shady goings on of Holland Park and Soho. Progressively, he unravels the fate of a young woman who he has been assigned to photograph by a peculiar benefactor. As the plot thickens, so does Derek's relationship with his quarry and the impact on his own troubled existence is as interesting as the outcome of the plot.
Bloodshot is not necessarily moving, but it is pacy, funny, entertaining, largely original and recommended.