Slice The Thief – Smock Alley – Review by Frank L.
Mon 4th – Sat 9th April @ 8pm | Boys School
Slice the Thief – written by Lee Coffey
The title of this dark comedy provides accurately the critical information as “Slice” is the name of the anti-hero and his occupation is that of a bicycle thief in Dublin. It is a monologue and Wesley Doyle plays Slice. The set consists of 16 tiles laid in a square on the floor. Slice is dressed in grey tracksuit bottoms and a grey sweat shirt which permits his calligraphic tattoo on his inner left arm to be seen but not read. He is of chunky, muscular build with closely cropped hair. He exudes menace. However he is only a small-time bicycle thief. He does not rank in comparison to the more professional gangs. By stealing a very upmarket bicycle, Slice unwittingly draws attention to himself and the smart stolen bike instantly attracts admirers from a more ruthless type of criminal. It then transpires that its true owner also comes from a criminal background of exceedingly unattractive colour. All of this places Slice in a very dark and violent place where he is being pulled in different directions in order to save his own skin.
Wesley Doyle’s monologue as he tells the tale of Slice is delivered in rhyming verse. Doyle is blessed with a good face with which he is able to make a variety of expressions. He is able to vary his voice and also to make several deft bodily movements which helps to differentiate the various unattractive characters he portrays. However he is describing a violent world with a lot of similar characters. It is therefore difficult to keep distinct in the brain who is who.
What remains with you after the performance is Slice’s description of his early life. He describes his relationship with the woman who looked after him in his teenage years when he was in care and how much he admired her. This is all related at a more relaxed pace. It is the one relationship in his life that is probed. It makes a fine counter balance to all the helter skelter and violence of Slice’s subsequent existence.
A young male monologue describing a life of violence in Dublin is becoming an increasingly well covered genre. However in this manifestation, Doyle’s physical performance with its threatening energy keeps the audience alert. It is an enjoyable hour of entertainment.