Film Review: The Bike Thief (2020)

Alec Secareanu scorches in The Bike Thief, the moodily effective debut film from Matt Chambers

“No bike, no job. No job, no money. No money, no flat.”

Using Vittorio De Sica’s 1948 neorealist classic The Bicycle Thieves as a starting point, debut writer/director Matt Chambers really makes his mark with the slow-burning The Bike Thief. Anchored by a scorchingly good performance from God’s Own Country‘s Alec Secareanu, it lays bare just some of the realities of working class life in modern-day Britain and just how close to the edge it forces people to live.

Secareanu’s nameless rider is a Romanian father of two, living cheek by jowl with each other in a London tower block. Their physical closeness might be enforced but emotionally they’re tight too. So when his moped is nicked, the ride on which he delivers pizzas, takes his teenager to school and his wife to her cleaning jobs, the precarious balance of their lives is seriously threatened. Continue reading “Film Review: The Bike Thief (2020)”

Review: The Removal Service

The Removal Service is a visceral debut play from Will Pattle and Alice Briganti but one which doesn’t quite live up to the promise of its first half

“Don’t we have hours until the rich guy comes back”

Will Pattle and Alice Briganti’s debut play The Removal Service is the second play in The Maltings Theatre’s online Spring season (after The Regina Monologues) and offers up a distinct shift in tone. This drama starts off darkly comic as estranged brothers Zeek and Greg set about robbing a house while disguised as removal men but pitch-shifts into something murkier as secrets in the house and in motives are soon revealed.

Chicho Tche’s Zeek and Pattle’s Greg share an edgy, rumbling chemistry that makes the opening of The Removal Service intriguing. Luke Adamson’s direction allows for all manner of questions about this relationship to emerge naturally as whip-smart dialogue peeks into the shadows of modern masculinity and the troubles of shared history. And with a Pinter-esque approach to it all, it is clear there’s no lack of ambition here. Continue reading “Review: The Removal Service”