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An Englishman's Home (Salford)

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
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Roger Beaumont (writer/performer Richard Vergette) shows his distain for the excesses of the privileged class into which he was born by allowing his ancestral home to fall into disrepair. He becomes a tabloid darling when he shoots and kills an intruder. But the motivation for his actions is unclear - even to himself.

Vergette’s witty and literate script examines the hypocrisy of a society in which property has a higher value than human life. The play works best, however, as a study of a complex but deeply flawed character.Vergette portrays Beaumont as someone whose self-esteem is so low that he cannot accept that anyone would find him attractive and whose lack of social graces and consequential need for isolation lead to tragedy.

Although the audience cannot help but sympathise with Beaumont’s loneliness Vergette’s ambiguous performance suggests that his fear and confusion might give rise to violence concealed beneath his urbane surface.    

Director Andrew Pearson draws out the thriller elements of the play and ensures that the plot developments are realistic. He achieves a disturbing level of intimacy to the extent that Beaumont seems to be addressing the audience on a one-to one basis.

- Dave Cunningham

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