Theatre Critic and Journalist

Review: MEAT, Theatre503

Review: MEAT, Theatre503

Published in Time Out, 12.06.2012

Vincent cuts carotid arteries for a living. He’s slaughtered hundreds of thousands of carcasses over the years and no one has batted an eyelid. However, when 17-year-old Rob, a local disrespectful nuisance, is killed, only Vincent (Graham Turner, brilliant) refuses to join the hysteria. With the killer still at large, the rest of the town pours out its collective grief and thinks of vengeance.

Raw but gutsy, Jimmy Osborne’s full-length debut goes for the jugular and just misses. His gradual exposure of the central mystery of Rob’s death holds our attention, but this play is not taut enough yet. Where it’s bad, it’s hard to stomach. It feels original but large chunks are contrived or unconvincing and some meat-related vocabulary is definitely overcooked. Big ideas and a heartfelt passion help Osborne gets away with it – but Meat needs another run through the mincer.

Photograph: Tristram Kenton

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