The Independent London Newspaper


THEATRE: Hardboiled: The Fall of Sam Shadow

THEATRE: Hardboiled: The Fall of Sam Shadow

Published: 19 February, 2016
by Alina Polianskaya

Hardboiled: The Fall of Sam Shadow
New Diorama Theatre

SEAMLESS transitions are what really stand out in this film noir production. The cast only use a handful of props yet what is a bar one minute is an electricity pylon the next, and a house window in between.

Set in LA in 1947, private detective Sam Shadow is on a mission to solve an endless stream of cases, till one in particular takes a hold on him. Sleep is for the weak – why close your eyes when there is crime to be solved? Fuelled on a diet of whisky and determination, the lead man keeps digging...

Choreographed with precision, the four-strong cast manage to do a lot with a little. Together they create a dark seductive world, managing to simultaneously suck in the audience and break the fourth wall – not hiding the smoke machine they carry across the stage or the make up that they dab on for bruises. 

Each actor – except lead man Julian Spooner – takes on multiple roles, but it is Jess Mabel Jones who is the true star of the show. A ditzy secretary one moment, a sultry seductress the next, she delivers her lines with charm and comedic skill. 

The script is passable but the talented cast make it thoroughly enjoyable. Jones’s scenes are a highlight as she channels characters from a time gone by and delivers an entertaining and captivating performance.

020 7383 9034


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