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Choke, Shop Front Theatre

Catch this intense, energetic new piece by the co-founder and Artistic Director of Coventry's award-winning Theatre Absolute, until Sat Feb 17.

Graeme Rose as Rob in Choke. Pic credit: Andrew Moore

Chris O’Connell’s Choke is an intense duologue between two middle-aged uni friends – Stu, the CEO of a big pharmaceutical company and Rob, a crusading investigative journalist.

This entire dark comedy is set in the living room of Stu’s Norwegian mansion as sleep-deprived, neurotic Rob turns up unannounced at 3am hammering on the door after a 12-hour journey from Mevagissey, Cornwall.  It’s been 14 years since they’ve seen each other and Rob demands that Stu opens him up with a scalpel, to see what’s wrong inside him. Is he genuinely dying, a hypochondriac, or is his malaise guilt-driven? Stu dropped out of medical school and hates the sight of blood so surgery seems unlikely…

Choke by-Chris-OConnell – Graeme Rose as Rob (left) and Matthew Wait, who plays Stu. Pic credit Andrew Moore

If it all sounds a bit random – it is – especially when the Rob strips off several layers down to his underpants and lies on Stu’s kitchen table scalpel in hand! What follows is a verbal battle of ideologies and rivalry, as past betrayals come to the fore. Stu, now a Buddhist sees Rob as a Bob Geldof /Russell Brand figure who sold out their friendship to cash in on an expose, costing him, his job, his wife and kids…Can their friendship survive this? There’s great energy and wit to this explosive new piece on as Graeme Rose (Rob) and Matthew Wait (Stu) thrash out their differences and their shared history.

Award-winning Theatre Absolute – the UK’s only Shop Front Theatre – does a brilliant job of showcasing thought-provoking new writing and Choke by co-founder and Artistic director Chris, is the sixth commission in their Are We Where We Are? project.  Coming up on March 23 & 24 is the company’s first pilot Shop Front Festival held in more of the city’s disused shops and spaces. Watch out here for the soon to be announced programme.

Matinee and evening performances  of Choke on Thurs Feb 8 are sold out. The play runs until Sat Feb 17. Tickets are £8 (full price) & £6 (concessions) via brownpapertickets.com Pay What You Can Afford Performance – Tues Feb 13.

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