Bareback theatre
‘Bare’ depicts a criminal world fuelled by bloodlust and money – by raw, unbridled aggression and hefty wads of ill-gotten, gambled cash. The play introduces us to family man Rick whose brute strength attracts the shrewd business eye of bare-knuckle fight orchestrator Arden. Rick’s descent into violence is rapid and grim. This show is not an easy watch, practically every scene contains conflict, aggression, and antagonism; voices seem permanently to be raised. Then there are the fights themselves, impressively choreographed and performed, but bloody, visceral and disturbing. Though the performances are consistently powerful, and the script richly, charismatically and almost poetically written, the amount of physical violence doesn’t give one time enough to think about what is actually being said.