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Mike Lees Designs

THE HARD MAN

McGovan & Jimmy Boyle
2014 Finborough Theatre
Dir. Mark Dominy
Lx Charlie Lucas

The atmosphere and staging adds a lot to the performance. The stage is blacked out and covered with graffiti consisting of lurid chalk scrawls. Characters smoke, frequently, and the smell of stale smoke hangs in the air. The small room occasionally smells like a latrine - unless my imagination is that convinced that it should smell that way, and made it up on my own.
Everything theatre Emily pulham

This is an intensely physical production which shows the endless ways to brutalise another human being from skull cracking to eye gouging. Props are put to excellent use throughout. Cigarettes, shit, knives, cages and blood provide a fitting accompaniment to this stark tale of crime and incarceration. And the space is superb too, the stage is womb like; the audience sits within a cockpit of violence and hyper-masculinity, observing a biography of brutality from its beginnings on the streets of Glasgow to its grotesque crescendo in prison with full frontal male nudity and shit smearing. It is truly shocking, and the civilised clapping of the audience at the end seems too polite.
The public theatre Rahul rose

Mike Lees' design simply and effectively conveys Johnny's limited horizons, that only shrink as his life goes on.
Partially obstructed view
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