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Review: Tom Hiddleston, Charlie Cox and Zawe Ashton in Betrayal, Harold Pinter Theatre - precise, layered, gripping

Vaults Festival review: Dead End, The Vaults - was it dead funny?

The vaults

There's a lot we don't know about death and a lot we don't know about the characters in Kathryn Gardner's play Dead End.

Things like why gravedigger Sue (Kathryn Gardner) keeps hiding the tools of the bumbling, church groundsman (Paul Collin-Thomas) and what happened to her friend Carol (Chloe Wigmore) whose ghost she chats to.

And why she suddenly wants to investigate the death of a cat she's been carrying around in a cool bag for two weeks or won't go over to grave plot 12b.

No answers

Don't ask about the dead body the groundsman sees and reports to the police because you won't get any answers.

The only thing we do find out is what attracts the foxes.

Perhaps this is what the title of the play obliquely refers to - paths that lead nowhere.

At one point Collin-Thomas wanders off leaving an empty stage for a long time, long enough to make you wonder if anyone is coming back. Is this a metaphor or just mistimed?

Death puns

It's an odd play, not satisfyingly odd rather it feels at times like a vehicle for death related puns [insert joke about popping clogs/kicking buckets/last legs etc].

There are some funny moments and smiles at the silliness but this isn't a rip-roaring comedy, instead it leads to a bit of a dead end.

Dead End is at The Vaults until March 10 and is 50 minutes long.

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