Philip Ridley’s VINCENT RIVER has been meandering around Boston this month as a site specific theater piece. Since it’s set around a kitchen table, Theatre on Fire has been performing it in people’s kitchens and dining rooms (where there’s enough room for a small audience). The last performance was held in the upstairs space at the Charlestown Working Theatre so more of us could see it.
VINCENT RIVER has the feel of a late night confessional. It’s a gritty, all too familiar story of a brutal gay bashing---and the collateral damage it causes. More a “what-happened” than a whodunit, the piece is charged with desperate emotion.
A young man with a black eye (Andres Rey Solorzano) is drawn to the victim’s house and specifically to the victim’s grieving mother (Kelly Rauch). She thinks he knows more than he lets on and the two drink their way to the truth. Solorzano is all twitches and defenses in director Darren Evans’ shrewd production. Rauch, too, journeys from denial to devastation. It’s a heartbreaking alliance they form ---in a deeply disturbing play about violence against homosexuals--- superbly enacted by Theatre on Fire.