With an enthralling, innovative plot, dark comedy Beaker’s Place invites you into the world of the wicked. Hiding underneath a seemingly regular bar, Mr Beaker is presented with dead bodies to make them disappear; he is not a murderer himself, but makes a fine profit from melting cadavers in acid. The tagline “you stab ‘em, we slab ‘em” isn’t to be taken lightly.
However, Beaker is not happy with his life and still mourns the death of his beloved cat, Paul. Just as it seems things can’t get any worse for him, he is delivered a body bag on his doorstep – but this one is moving. Theatre company Only Lucky Dogs present a story filled with questionable morals and murderers in a fast-paced and funny show.
The two-handed performance revolves around Beaker and Drew; where one is anxious and troubled, the other comes across as collected but manipulative. There are a lot of plot twists to keep the audience on their toes as we begin to learn more about the couple, and how they got themselves into a messy situation. As Drew comes out of her shell, she begins to challenge Beaker in more ways than one, as she too has a few secrets to hide.
An array of cleaning products are visible on shelves on-stage, and we hear Beaker roll the names of acid off his tongue as he wonders how to dispose of the hair and nails on a body. Of course, on the highest shelf is an urn, and Beaker is seen regularly chatting away to a picture of Paul sitting beside it. The cat is more personal to Beaker than relevant to the wider plot, but Beaker's connection to him becomes something the audience members respect and support.
When Drew is thrown into the conclusion however, perhaps even saving Beaker from his own depressive thoughts, things turn bizarre very quickly. Their acting and dynamics on stage are fascinating to watch, and successfully build a comedy full of dark and questionable conversations – including one about how Hitler wasn’t that bad a person.
Audible gasps from the audience and chuckles from hasty one-liners are what proves this show to be an enjoyable experience. Beaker’s Place has everything needed in a fun performance and even if some parts didn’t go exactly to plan, our performers handled it with humour. It is certainly a charming show and I was enticed by the ending, which leaves two lingering possibilities. May Paul the cat rest in peace!