(Elisabeth Mahoney’s article appeared in the Guardian, 10/26.)
Few modern classics bring more challenges, in particular the burden of expectation, than Anthony Burgess's dystopian shocker. How do you stage it to give the full force of its lawlessness and cruelty while creating something that's still watchable?
Volcano's startling version is short and viciously sharp, with a couple of core inventive touches that work well. The role of Alex, narrating, is shared across the cast of five: their accents range from Glaswegian to New York via Cockney. This move deepens the sense of menace – you never quite know where it will land next – and also the universality of Burgess's key question: is it better to choose to be evil than be forced to be good?