A derelict factory seems a fitting venue for this Moco Theatre production of Antony Burgess’ dystopian vision, the audience promenading through a sprawling stylised set.
Made infamous by Stanley Kubrick’s film version, the story sees tearaway teen Alex and his gang of droogs pillaging their way through life. But the authoritarian state catches up, and soon Alex is undergoing a brutal experimental reconditioning programme.
Joe Darbyshire leads an all-male cast of local actors; he is visceral, violent, and nasty – a perfect Alex.
The ensemble cast flex between roles – from droog to victim, intellectual to cleric – but are most impressive in the unhesitatingly physical violent scenes. Promenade can make it difficult for the audience to believe; here the kicks and the spectators’ flinches seemed equally real.
Miche Montague’s production includes the final redemptive scenes omitted from many editions of the book and Kubrick’s film. It’s perhaps the only thing that jars in this startling and successful show.