Theatre review: Klook’s Last Stand at the Park Theatre

in klooks last stand

in klooks last stand - Credit: Archant

You’ll be hard-pressed to find two better actors on stage in London right now than Ako Mitchell as Klook and Sheila Atim as Vinette, his mesmerising girlfriend.

This new 90-minute play, written and directed by the super-talented Ché Walker, begins dramatically with a shoot-out against the California cops: Klook’s last stand.

What the heck happened? Haunted by memories, he and Vinette fill us in on their tempestuous back story.

A modern-day Romeo and Juliet, he’s a reformed criminal and she’s a single mom with literary ambitions. And attitude: attitude that’s hilarious and toe-curling in equal measure.

She’s also an incredible singer, for this is a play with music (as opposed to a musical). Musician Rio Kai sits at the back of the small studio stage throughout.

His accompaniment at various emotional high or low points on either double-bass, piano or guitar cranks up the tension, or releases the pressure valve.

The soulful music helps the two tormented souls to express themselves, and may well bring a tear to your eye too.

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The score, by the way, is co-composed by Omar Lyefook, who has been called the father of British neo-soul.

Klook’s Last Stand is funny, sad, tender, violent (in subject matter: not much on stage).

It packs a lot in, and tugs the heart strings. It achieves what it sets out to achieve, and much more besides.

Klook and Vinette’s “dark and dangerous” love story made the audience jump to its feet and explode into wild applause at the end of the play’s opening night: scenes no doubt to be repeated throughout this debut run.

Rating: Five stars