WORTH A LOOK?: ***
WHERE?: Ambassadors Theatre RUN TIME: 2 hours (including an interval)
WHEN?: 6/9, press night 13/9, runs to 5/1/18
Game Of Thrones star Iwan Rheon plays titular Foxfinder William Bloor and twice removes his top to self-flagellate as he investigates why a farm he is visiting is not yielding the crops expected.
- Read on for reasons including how Rheon’s performance has echoes of his best-known work
We’re in the grip of a dystopian present where England is blighted by extreme weather and the fox is blamed for the shortage of food and Foxfinders have the power to send failing farmers to the factories where work is so severe that the average length of life there is only three years.
This revival of Dawn King’s 2011 play sees Bloor visit the farm of grieving couple Samuel and Judith Covey whose five-year-old son has recently apparently drowned.
There are echoes of Arthur Miller’s The Crucible as the Foxfinder sees signs everywhere of foxes and everything, including the lack of actual sightings, seems in his mind to point to their existence on this farm.
We meet the Covey’s neighbour Sarah Box (Call the Midwife‘s Bryony Hannah) who suggests that there are no foxes and instead they have become a convenient scapegoat for England’s rulers to blame its problems on.
The cast is TV star heavy and boasts Poldark‘s Heida Reed and Ackley Bridge‘s Paul Nicholls as the central couple. Their relationship is being torn apart by the Foxfinder’s probing and it’s important for the play’s success that we root for them. And here we do.
Rheon played swivel-eyed maniac Ramsay Bolton in Game Of Thrones and there are moments here when we are reminded of him by Bloor. His investigation triggers something in Samuel Covey which leads the Foxfinder to question his own way of life.
So prescient does Foxfinder appear in 2018 that its author is currently working on a screen adaptation.
But it is the subject matter of the play, an England blighted by food shortages and in the grip of paranoia, which will likely send most chills down the backs of audiences in 2018.