ED2013 5/5 Reviews ED2013 Theatre Reviews

The Secret Agent (Theatre O / Young Vic Co-Production)

By | Published on Saturday 17 August 2013

“Madness alone is truly terrifying”. So says Vladimir, one of the shadowy figures pulling the strings of bumbling agent Adolf Verloc, and this quotation serves as a succinct summary of this superb adaptation of Joseph Conrad’s novel. The details of the twisting plot, the intricate chain of relationships, is of less importance than the pervasive, queasy tension and insanity lurking just beneath – and at times atop – the surface. There’s a touch – subtle but undeniable – of post 9/11 self-awareness, wrapped in an absorbing melange of Chaplin-esque dance routines, melodrama, farce and some innovative, fiendishly clever staging. Every iota of this production is excellent and carefully considered; I could write a review just on the different way scene changes are handled. Outstanding.

Traverse Theatre, until 25 Aug (not 12, 19), times vary.
tw rating 5/5 | [Andrew Leask]