Creating a new play by adapting an existing work, in this case a short novella by Joseph Conrad called The Secret Sharer, can be risky but not with Ross Dinwiddy’s bold and beautifully told story about two guys falling in love on the high seas. This is sixty minutes of a very well-crafted and acted play. With a stella cast, notably Gareth Wildig as Leggatt presenting a linchpin performance that makes the whole thing come together much like a sailor’s knot.
The story is about camaraderie and respect but at the same time Dinwiddy injects comment about social manners connected to class and upbringing, where violence can on occasion be the only solution to a situation, brought out of frustration.
This is also a murder mystery and here the actors relish their respective roles, getting the timing right and again via Dinwiddy’s excellent script, comic asides are plentiful being used to build sexual and physical tension as the play unfolds.
John Black as Hotson brings an air of comfortability and charm to his role that totally partners the brutish elegance that Wildig brings to his role as Leggatt.
Lust and passion on the high seas where a sudden look, a captured glance can get you in a load of trouble. This is a wonderful look at raw emotion and the skills needed for basic survival. Totally absorbing and it is to Blue Devil Production’s credit that a piece of imaginative theatre like this get staged. Putting a new slant on a classic tale. Gripping!
Photos by Rich Bright – Blue Devil