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Kate Ashmead as Mary Stewart and Nigel Fairs as Bill Crayshaw. Picture: David Fawbert


Coventry Belgrade


Set almost three decades ago in 1991 in Thatcher’s Britain, Revenge tells the story of Bill Crayshaw MP, who leads a charmed life: he’s hailed in the corridors of Parliament, lauded in business, and loved at

That is until he returns from a business trip to find his party agent has been killed. Was it a terrible, tragic accident? Or, are the circumstances more sinister?

Mary Stewart is determined to find out, and she seems prepared to go to extraordinary lengths to discover the truth. But what is her motive? Journalism, blackmail, seduction or… revenge?

Nigel Fairs offers a realistic and convincing portrayal of the charming and yet some may say sleazy MP.  Fairs is easily believable as someone who is capable of many nefarious activities, dodgy dealings and nepotism that have brought him to his current position – in a lavish batchelor pad, overlooking the Thames and surrounded by valuable works of art… from Ming to Meissen and Monet!

Kate Ashmead gives an energetic performance as Mary Stewart, the prying and intrusive journalist… who wheedles herself into Bill Crayshaw’s apartment. Her non-stop questions and pacing were quite exhausting to watch and her mal-handling of priceless china figurines had everyone on the edge of their seats and left the audience almost relieved when the curtain fell for the interval!

However in the second act, all changes as the story starts to unravel and Kate Ashmead cleverly presents us with a deeper and more complex layer to Mary Stewart’s personality as her story develops.

Louise Jameson’s intelligent direction manipulates the audience throughout the performance by taking them down different roads only to end at a cul de sac! With just two actors, Robin Hawdon’s storyline is full of many twists and turns and as audience members our allegiances with each actor changes on a regular basis as the plot constantly questioned our own morality. This continues throughout the play until the final moment.

By setting Revenge in the early 90s – it allows a certain pedantry pace for the action using faxes, chunky mobile phones and teletext and allows us to concentrate more on the dialogue! If set today – a few emails and a quick text could have sorted it out in an instant! Technologically, we have come a long way in 30 years but morally… watch this space!

They say Revenge is a dish best served cold but perhaps, in this case, it was served lukewarm. To 15-02-20

Liz Leck


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