Bull

Cold Pizza Productions and New Celts Productions
The Space on the Mile – until August 24th
4 Stars (4 / 5)


Bull is a dark psychological play about subtle victimisation and gas-lighting in the work place. Mike Bartlett’s writing is merciless, cutting and sadly seems to reveal some deep, dark secret about human nature. Two colleagues work together to confound, confuse and undermine a third. They are cruel, but as worrying as their cruelty is the subtle, un-PC notion that maybe something about Thomas (the victim) is attracting the behaviour. I mean, after all, he seems to be failing in all other aspects of his life… While Bull certainly does not ask us to sympathise with his persecutors, who are almost sociopathic in their cold tag-team operation, it does not shy away from pointing to a subtle undertone that maybe if Thomas was just more strident and confident in who he is they would back off and bully someone else.

Cold Pizza Productions’ rendering is gripping and sometimes tense. Richard Burns gives a suitably limp and reactive performance as Thomas. Chantelle Downie and Aidan Curran form a demonic dyad with great interpersonal chemistry. Curran in particular gives a highly noteworthy performance as the manipulative Tony who is always changing emotional channel, swinging from a pally “it’s only a joke mate” persona, to feigning sincerity in a moment. Bull will follow you out the auditorium for days.