Cut is a psychological thriller half set in complete darkness

Steve Hogarty
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Hannah Norris in Cut at the Vaults Theatre in Waterloo

A one-woman art performance in which a stunned audience is subjected to the traumatic inner brain-wrongs of a rapidly unravelling, paranoid air hostess, Cut is part psychological thriller and part first-person exploration of violent schizophrenic horror. In the tiny Vaults Theatre beneath the rail arches of Waterloo station, viewers are repeatedly plunged into complete darkness and blasted with soul-grating soundscapes, as actor Hannah Norris lurches about the central stage like a restless ghost, her character convinced she is being stalked by a malevolent ash-eyed man.

A dynamic Norris keeps this frantic pace going for the hour long show. She uses the darkness to teleport about the place like a Guillermo del Toro extra, popping up in unexpected locations and freakish poses. Alongside the whack-a-mole staging, some tricksy lighting effects leave the audience consistently unsettled and prickly necked.

But Cut’s unchangingly sinister tone is soon tiring and no amount of switching the lights on and off can distract from a flat script weighed down by wonderfully grotesque but insight-free descriptions of bodily nastiness. If you go, avoid the high stools on the rear rows, as you’ll leave with an incredibly numb arse.

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