The Pitchfork Disney

The Nottingham New Theatre’s in house season has kicked off with the terrifying Pitchfork Disney

The consumption of snakes and cockroaches, homophobia, serial child killers and giant penises – Tom Tolond’s revival of Ridley’s ‘The Pitchfork Disney’ will certainly not leave you dozing in your seat.

Tolond paints a dystopian fairytale that both rivets and frightens. In an East-end home, Haley and Presley, the modern-day Hansel and Gretel, survive off liberal helpings of chocolate and nostalgia.

However, their childish world is shattered by powerful outside forces, in the shape of Cosmo Disney (Shannon Smith) and Pitchfork Cavalier (Ollie Shortt). Shannon’s portrayal of the homophobic showman, Cosmo, left the audience, as well as Presley, confused as to what’s real and what’s fantasy.

The quality street chocolate wrappers scattered on the floor reminded me all too well of numerous diet fails but it was in fact the opening scene of the play. This, and the derelict setting, designed by Tom Selves and Aubrey Turner, helped to convey the childish helplessness of the siblings – which made the plot twists even more frightening to watch.

A play that will stay with you for a long, long time

There were real stand-out performances. In particular Presley’s (James Bentley) wild, unbelievable monologues; his paranoia felt real and was incredible to watch.

There’s only the two of us, you and me, Haley’

Presley and Haley’s (Laura Gallop) relationship was one of my favourite aspects of the play. It’s hard not to fall in love with them – their petty sibling arguments about who ate whose chocolate were surprisingly refreshing, despite the gothic nightmare setting.

The haunting poetic monologues, eerie sound effects and claustrophobically small sets will leave you feeling part of the play. But while the play may not be for the theatrically daring, one thing is for sure; you definitely won’t forget it for a long, long time.

The Pitchfork Disney is on until Saturday, tickets are from £4, book here