REVIEW: The Fastest Clock in the Universe

Oxford Opening Night

reviewed by Hannah Greenstreet

The Fastest Clock in the Universe, an amoral postmodern morality play nominally about humans’ desire for eternal youth, could be described as Dorian Gray, crossed with Eastenders, Pinter and a particularly violent horror film. Typical Philip Ridley, then, although the first half is remarkably tame for a playwright for whom shockingly graphic language and brutal acts make up the texture of his work. Alexander Hartley’s excellent production focuses on the disturbing quotidian and the dysfunctional relationships of this troubling play.

It takes great confidence to stand in one’s underwear in the intimate space of the Burton Taylor Studio. Jack Morris, as Cougar Glass preparing for his annual 19th birthday party, spends the majority of the play in bright blue boxer shorts. The first image of the production is Cougar in pants and sunglasses, flicking through pornographic magazines. Morris’s Cougar was deliciously vain and…

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