The West End is hot with celebrities and A-Lister stars shining on the stage. One of the hit plays to see this summer is Killer Joe, starring the beautiful Orlando Bloom. I am a huge fan of his, Legolas and Will Turner both stole my heart as a teen, so I was incredibly excited to have the chance to see him perform live on stage.
Tickets are not cheap, but Trafalgar Studios has a well designed theatre so all seats give a great view of the stage. Whilst this play has a powerful set of actors, I was left questioning who the play was really about. For me, it wasn’t about Bloom at all and he slowly slid into the background whilst the other actors displayed all their emotions and depths of their characters. Is it that Blooms character was bland, or is he just too cute to be taken seriously as a killer? (Watch out for my next Blog “To Pretty to be a Psycho” where I will talk about if looks distract from the characters.)
Killer Joe, like the film, is a dark comedy thriller, with constant building tension mixed with bouts of giggles. Set in one of America’s red neck states, where else could someone plot to kill their mother for her inheritance money? The story follows 22-year old Chris Smith (Adam Gillen) and the lengths he goes to, to kill his mother. For money to pay off debts, his family end up embroiled with up the hunky hit-man Killer Joe. Costing $25,000 Chris’ sister Dottie is put as a retainer until the payment is paid in full. (eek)
Bloom plays a smouldering hit man Joe Cooper, a part made famous by Matthew McConaughey in the 2011 film. Bloom captivates audiences in his scenes with his hypnotic Southern drawl and steely gaze. His talents are undeniable, however, I did not find him to be a threatening character, and without the important, dramatic work of his cast members this play would have fallen short. He is also one of these people who looks sexy when they smoke. He suits it. It’s an awful habit but if anyone looks good doing it, it’s him.
Adam Gillen gives a performance of a lifetime, his energy on set is breathtaking. A great, stressful comparison to the suave Bloom, both complimenting each other excellently on set. I was rooting for Adam to succeed, even with killing his own mother!
Sophie Cookson who plays Dottie brings to life a very emotionally damaged girl, with a sense of innocence and vulnerability. Being brought up in the sticks and poverty, I never saw her as a victim, her character had a lot to offer and it was wonderful to see her character develop and grow throughout the show.
The father and step mother are excellent characters, helping drive the story and scenes along. Each actor should be very impressed and proud of themselves, because together they have created a very powerful show.
The play features a great deal of nudity – including from Bloom himself. (Oi, oi) which at times drives the comedy and at other times creates a fearful tension that makes you feel sick in your stomach.
Well thought-out and used set design, you can feel their poverty and struggle and understand why they needed the money and why they needed someone to help them with the task. With a few twists and turns there is a dramatic, struggle ending, but with Dottie being the main threat, not Bloom. Two powerful women are left standing and I absoloutely loved this. Without too many spoilers, it’s great to see the women who were made victims be the last ones alive.
Killer cast, killer set, killer price, go see this awesome show.
Here’s my favourite selfie right now: (I also got to see his dog)