Dodged hailstones yesterday to make my way to Theatre 503 in Battersea. It was my second visit to this cool studio space above the Latchmere pub. Last month I saw Chris Lee's excellent, compelling play The Ash Boy, this time I was there to see Owen McCafferty's Cold Comfort, a gripping one-man show starring Patrick O'Kane.
Basically it's just an hour and fifteen minutes of drunken rambling, the kind of conversation you'd loathe to be stuck in on the train journey home. But O'Kane makes it something more, draws you in to this man's life, his losses, falling apart before your eyes.
It's an appallingly bleak piece of drama, the lyricism of the language only just disguising a somewhat formulaic story. But you can't take your eyes of O'Kane and when he crumbles and howls at the end of the play, it's incredibly distressing to watch. I wouldn't have wanted it to go on any longer but, despite the scowling sky, I'm glad I made the trip into town to see it.