Scottish actress Neve McIntosh made her West End debut this summer in Tracy Letts American southern gothic comedy KILLER JOE at the Trafalgar Studios. She played Sharla, the stepmother in the ‘fiercely disturbing’ play, set in a Texas trailer park about the dysfunctional Smith family who hire a detective and hit-man Joe Cooper to kill the mother and claim the insurance.
In her WhatsOnStage review, Sarah Crompton wrote they Neve “adds insight and sass to her scenes as Sharla the stepmother, determined to survive and make as much of life as she can.” Neve herself described the play as “dark, funny, shocking and very human.”
She’s a familiar face on the small screen, appearing in a number of popular British shows, including a recurring role as Madame Vastra in DOCTOR WHO and architect Kay Gillies in BBC1’s miniseries THE REPLACEMENT.
She signed my Shayla sketch at the beginning of the run in June and the portrait during the final week at the stage door in August.
Orlando Bloom has returned to the boards after an five year absence, playing the titular hitman in Tracey Lett’s Texas trailer-park Gothic play KILLER JOE at the Trafalgar Studios.
After making his West End debut eleven years ago in IN CELEBRATION at the Duke of York’s, Orlando’s first and only Broadway appearance was the lead in ROMEO AND JULIET at the Richard Rodgers Theatre in 2013, which the New York Times described as a “first rate Broadway debut.”
He plays Joe Cooper, a Dallas policeman with a sideline in contract killing, who is hired by the dysfunctional Smith family to kill a wealthy matriarch and claim the insurance money. When the clients can’t produce the cash for a down payment, Joe demands an alternative ‘retainer.’ Writing in the Telegraph, Paul Taylor says, “Bloom’s Joe is creepily calm and considered, hypnotic in the measured slowness with which he masks his menacing intent. The controlled swagger of his rhythms is in distinct contrast to all the chaotic kerfuffing of the trailer folk. Bloom’s fine performance gathers in intensity and by the end of the play he’s in full sinister command of the stage.”
The Guardian’s Michael Billington has similar praise for Orlando’s performance. “Bloom excellently suggests Joe’s cool confidence, exaggerated politese and head for business.”
Orlando signed and dedicated my drawing a couple of weeks ago after a Saturday matinee.