Richard Mylan (Paul), Sion Daniel Young (Davey), Seán Gleeson (Alan) in Killology. Photo by Mark Douet
Killology marks playwright Gary Owen’s return to the Royal Court following 2015’s Violence And Son and follows the story of a controversial new gaming app which rewards players for their murderous creativity. The app’s creator believes the game is a moral experience where players are forced to watch the consequences of their actions. However, many in the real world disagree.
Gary Owen’s masterful writing
Few can weave a tale like UK Theatre Award-winning writer Gary Owen. Narratives overlap and collide in this gut-wrenching dissection of modern morality. While centred on the creation of the violent app, Killology goes far beyond that, examining (and then shredding to pieces) the dynamics between father and son.
Sion Daniel Young (Davey) in Killology. Photo by Mark Douet
Simon Slater’s intense soundscape
In the intimate confines of the Royal Court’s Jerwood Theatre Upstairs, Simon Slater’s ominous soundscapes draw you into the action. Taking nothing away from the performances, the sounds are a murmuring companion to the words, an almost constant ominous undertone.
Richard Mylan (Paul) in Killology. Photo by Mark Douet
Gary McCann’s sinister set design
Like Simon’s sound, Gary McCann’s design is simple yet powerful. Wires twist and intertwine in great messy coils, a complex mess that mirrors the stories and interconnections of the characters. In the darkness, the set seems to offer little hope or few places to hide with just the occasional spots of light.
Seán Gleeson (Alan) in Killology. Photo by Mark Douet
A play that poses profound questions
You’ll leave the play with a ton of questions but that’s no bad thing. Provocative and bold, Killology contemplates violence in society and our culpability. To what extent are we innocent victims of our upbringing or complicit in devaluing life and in creating a culture that is desensitised to violence?
Sion Daniel Young (Davey), Seán Gleeson (Alan), Richard Mylan (Paul) in Killology. Photo by Mark Douet
Three tense and devastating performances
Killology is a three-hander in which none of the actors ever leave the stage. Richard Mylan, Sion Daniel Young and Sean Gleeson have crafted three characters that are complex and entirely believable. From the dad who struggled to connect with his son, the child growing up in difficult circumstances and the tech entrepreneur desperate to prove himself, the three shift back and forth from victim to menace with great and alarming ease. Difficult and unlikable in their own ways, you are forced to cast aside your first impressions.
Killology runs at the Jerwood Theatre Upstairs until 24 June 2017. £12 Monday tickets are released online at 9am each Monday. Find out more at royalcourttheatre.com