June at the Devonshire Park is Thriller Season with three plays being performed over three consecutive weeks. The first of these is Philip Gladwin's Kiss Chase which, oddly, has been retitled as Playing Dead for the Eastbourne performances.
This psychological thriller is directed by Patric Kearns and the claustrophobic school gymnasium set has been designed by Claire Booth. The nostalgia of childhood reminiscing is increased by a soundtrack of 1980s pop music which can be heard coming from a School Reunion party as four classmates are locked together in the gym.
Years after John Dean (Marcus Hutton - Brookside) left school, he has returned for the Reunion, determined to show the bullies that wrecked his schooldays how much he has changed. But when he gets locked in the gymnasium with three of his old enemies, the mood turns dark. Debbie (Jenny Funnell - As Time Goes By) is now married, smart and elegant, but with mental and emotional bruising that she needs to keep hidden. Her then-boyfriend, Mike, (Stephen Beckett - Coronation Street, The Bill) could charm the birds from the trees but his suave exterior is fraying. Pete (Ben Roddy) was a thug and still has frightening anger management problems.
During their final summer at school, John’s girlfriend Suzannah died in a house fire and over the course of this one evening it becomes increasingly apparent that the people with John were more involved in the night of her death than he ever suspected. As he finally works out the terrible truth John is forced to answer the horrifying question - what is he going to do about it?
Devonshire Park Theatre, June 5th - 9th, 19:45.
Wednesday & Saturday matinees, 14:30.