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Flash Festival: Part Seven - Vallence Road (The Reggie Kray Story) at Royal & Derngate (Underground), Northampton

A ninety minute envelope opened up for me on the final night of the Flash Festival and it somehow luckily managed to absorb a seventy minute production of Vallence Road from Rising Persona, a solo company from Steven-James Leonard.

I had been assured by @mudbeast76 that this should be a play I should see, and he was not wrong. I had initially deselected this play at the time for a mixture of time reasons and because the subject matter sounded far from interesting to me. However sometimes it has to be said that even if in theory the material doesn't sound good to you, if it is well done you still find something interesting. Vallence Road was well done, telling the story of criminal Reggie Kray.

At seventy minutes it was the second longest play of the week and for a solo performance this was a heck of an undertaking. Mr Leonard had no trouble undertaking it. This was a real, real, quality production. Well researched and well performed, very much like watching a drama documentary.

The set was also one of the best of the week, particularly two very clever panels featuring silhouettes of Ronnie Kray and Reggie's wife Frances, which were interacted with in a impressive style.

Tech was minimal but effective with a little period music, some hard written letters on screen and finally footage of the final interview with Kray cleverly interspersed with Mr Leonard laying on a bed.

An excellent play, not my favourite of the week, but strangely perhaps the most interesting as I did feel that I had learnt a great deal about the notorious character upon leaving the Underground and the Flash Festival for the final time.


Vallence Road was on at the Royal & Derngate (Underground).

The Flash Festival has now concluded for 2014, but the website is still active at http://flashtheatrefestival.wix.com/flashtheatrefestival

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