Philip Ridley’s Vincent River was premiered at Hampstead Theatre in 2000 and has been revived fairly regularly in the intervening years, including this production which was first seen at the Park Theatre last year and has now transferred to the West End’s Trafalgar Studios, where an earlier production ran in 2007. How worried should we be that the play seems ever-timely?
Thrilling, heartbreaking and darkly humorous by turns, Vincent River is now seen as one of the most powerful explorations of hate crime – and society’s need to crush ‘difference’ – ever written.
Many weeks after Vincent was murdered in a disused public toilet, Annie is still trying to come to terms with the death of her son and his sexuality. She’s visited in her new flat, having been forced to leave her previous home, by stranger Davey, the young man who discovered the body. What does he want from her? What is he hiding?
Louise Jameson and Thomas Mahy star in Robert Chevara‘s acclaimed production of Vincent River.
To discuss issues raised in the play around homophobia and hate crime, and how, data shows, they’re increasingly relevant, I was joined by special guests Emma Miller-McCaffrey, community engagement manager from LGBTQ education charity Diversity Role Models, and attack victim William Mayrick, who was assaulted on the London underground and forced to apologise for being gay, as well as producer Danielle Tarento.
Despite the seriousness of the subject matter, we ended on a positive note: remembering things worth celebrating during Pride Month.
Vincent River runs at London’s Trafalgar Studios 2 until 22 June 2019.
Event photography by Peter Jones.
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