Review: The Devil Take Your Stereo - A Satanic Chiller by Sir Desmond Stirling / Publisher: What Noise Productions / Release Date: Out Now
Written and performed by Anthony Keetch, The Devil Take Your Stereo is a first-class comedy in which we listen to the fictional character Sir Desmond Stirling orate his 243rd novel – another of his insanely successful satanic chillers. Read in the style of the 1950’s episodic radio dramas, Sir Desmond Stirling leads us through a vastly amusing action-adventure in which the socialite Marjorie Ashbrook is kidnapped from her bedroom and her ex-husband, Charles, accompanied by his faithful nephew, Simon, must navigate a diabolical Nazi Plan and save the world from dark mystical forces.
As much as this is a send-up of the political incorrectness of a bygone era, it is also an excellent character study of Sir Desmond Stirling who throughout the telling is constantly interrupted by telephone calls from his former wife and nephew, both of whom share the same name as their characters in his novel. As the play progresses we quickly become aware that the problems besieging Sir Desmond Stirling in life are quickly written into the narrative. Sir Desmond uses his novel to express his frustrations, pent-up emotions and repressed hidden urges. He has certain, unmanly, feelings for his nephew. Marjorie is painted in an unsympathetic light, and the plot is little more than a thin glossing of Sir Desmond’s narrow-minded and fascist views.
Just in case we weren’t clear before, The Devil Take Your Stereo is funny. Balls to the wall, bust a gut, funny. Anthony Keetch has managed to create an excellent character in the form of Sir Desmond Stirling. He is the embodiment of an upper class snob with right-wing conservative views. And it’s these gems of insight that are scattered throughout the play which really makes The Devil Take Your Stereo stand out. Yet despite Sir Desmond’s unrepentant ways, one can’t help but feel sorry for him. Life has some nasty shocks waiting down the line, and it’s testament to Athony Keetch’s writing ability to make an audience sympathise for this type of character.
If you are looking for black humour or something to cheer up your day in a decidedly non-politically correct manner then The Devil Take Your Stereo is the play for you.