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Klook's Last Stand (Park Theatre)

This soulful two-hander provides an ideal way to wile away a summer's evening

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
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Ako Mitchell and Sheila Atim in Klook's Last Stand
© Arnim Friess

Bad boy made good Klook meets the beautiful Vinette, and the instant chemistry of these two damaged souls leads them on a path to love and, eventually, something much darker.

Categorising Che Walker's charming two-hander is difficult, but the billed 'play with songs' just about covers it. There's a constant rhythm underscoring the action that lends the whole evening the vibe of a blues jam.

This is provided in part by Rio Kai's sensitive double bass and piano accompaniment, and partly by the inherent musicality of actors Ako Mitchell and Sheila Atim, who give knock-out performances as the central pair.

Mitchell and Atim break into song like it's merely an extension of speech. Those songs - by Anoushka Lucas and Omar Lyefook - help tell their story, but they also fizz with sexual energy. Lucas and Walker's lyrics are often cheesy ("His smile's like the sun / I'm the bullet, he's the gun"), but the performers carry it off.

There's also humour in abundance. "Could this old mother f****r be the one?" says Vinette, aghast that she's fallen for a man she knows is wrong but just feels right.

Not everything works; Klook's damaged past lacks validity - he sings that his life has been like a "gangster movie", but this is frankly hard to believe. Nevertheless, as a love story it's highly convincing. And on a hot summer evening this is a laid-back, intimate and deeply soulful way to wile away 90 minutes - more uplifting than the football, certainly.

Klook's Last Stand continues at Park90 until 6 July 2014