Review: Cherry Docs

By Alex Kasriel, September 26, 2008

Wyndhams Theatre, London WC2


A "humanist liberal Jew" agrees to defend a "white supremacist skinhead punk" who admits to a racially motivated killing, because, as a legal aid lawyer, he needs the money - and it may raise his profile. In most cases the lawyer would keep a professional distance throughout the proceedings. Not so in Canadian playwright David Gow's Cherry Docs, where the attorney Danny Dunkelman (Eric Loren) announces his hatred of neo-Nazis in his first jail meeting with skinhead Mike Downey (David Lyons) and tries to change his politics. Realistically which lawyer has this much time to devote to a client?

Downey is more than a simple racist - he admits guilt and begins to repent. His beef is that the white working-class male is the most persecuted group in society and asks that they are given more chances in life. But having not been able to give a clear motive for his attack at first, the sudden political rhetoric is far-fetched. Director Sherrill Gow gives the play a dramatic intensity, but the script makes it so hard to suspend disbelief. (Tel: 0844 412 2953)

Last updated: 11:12am, September 25 2008