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  • Writer's pictureAmrat

The Standard Short Long Drop by Rachel Garnet

The Standard Short Long Drop is currently playing at The Vanguard, Camden. Anything that takes me to Camden always gets an extra point as I love the atmosphere and general vibe around Camden Market. There are always so many options for food and drink, and a bit of shopping if you fancy it.

Image of two actors in a stage play, one sitting on a bed and the other standing in a jail cell.
Kevin Wathen and Per Carminger | Photo by Jason Warner of Firefly Studios

This is a heavy drama set in Victorian York, with only two cast members: Kevin Wathen, who plays Alistair, and Per Carminger, who plays Lewis ‘Ludley’ Thornhill. The young man, Ludley, is sentenced to death for allegedly stealing a horse, but is offered a stay of execution under one condition: he must serve as the hangman for his mysterious older cellmate, Alistair. In the delivery of their dialogue, the connection between the two actors and the way they navigate the moral complexities of such a situation is completely believable. The actors effortlessly captivate the audience and masterfully utilise the silences between dialogue to add dramatic depth. Ludley (Per) experiences emotions he has never experienced in his young age when deciding whether or not to trade another man's life for his own, and his acting skills convey this well.

Image showing two actors on a very dark stage with jail bars behind them. Standing side-by-side, one actor is holding the others shoulders with a serious look in his eyes.
Kevin Wathen and Per Carminger | Photo by Jason Warner of Firefly Studios

This play is a very small and intimate production, so one feels very much a part of the performance. As a result, I felt like I was right there in that jail cell and was deeply invested in the characters and their story. During the breaks between scenes, a rather dramatic, short musical composition accompanied the actors as they moved to their next position. This movement was in sync with the rhythm of the music and played out very delicately. A lover of music and the arts, this added to the holistic feel of the show that spoke to all the senses. One of my favourite parts of the show. Both actors are fantastic!

Rachel Garnet captures perfectly the human factors that are associated with the morally bankrupt position that the characters find themselves in in her script. Natasha Rickman has directed this play so very skilfully with art at its centre. The actors and their ability is very much exposed here, where everyone is so close to the ‘stage’ meaning there is no hiding or covering any mistakes. This speaks even more to the talent presented. I would highly recommend this to anyone interested in excellent theatre and drama, and those seeking something more intimate and not so overcrowded.

As to what Ludley decides, you will have to watch to find out…


Kevin Wathen (Alastair). His theatre credits include ‘The Standard Short Long Drop’ (Edinburgh Fringe 2023), ‘The Last Ship’ and ‘Get Carter’ (Northern Stage) and ‘Billy Ellliot’.

Per Carminger (Ludley). His theatre credits include ‘The Standard Short Long Drop’ (Edinburgh Fringe 2023), ‘Salome’ (Royal Opera House), ‘Sweeney Todd’, and ‘Oh, What a Lovely War’ (Dartington Summer Festival).

Creative team:

  • Director - Natasha Rickman

  • Lighting Designer - Mark Dymock

  • Sound Designer & Composer - Lex Kosanke

  • General Manager - Dan Blumenau

  • Produced by Ticking Clock Theatre in association with Sterling Paris

Rachel Garnet (Writer)

A graduate of Vancouver Film School in Writing for Film and Television, Rachel has spent the last few years cultivating a successful career in theatre. Along with her critically acclaimed play ‘Starcrossed which played at London’s historic Wilton’s Musical Hall, other produced works include audio adventure ‘Silverbell Smith and the Music Makers’, children’s picture book ‘Ballet is For Everyone’, and the immersive theatrical experience ‘shadowplay’ which premiered in New York City in 2018.


The Vanguard, Camden

North Yard,

Stables Market,

Camden Market,

London NW1 8AH

Age Restrictions: 16+ only

Dates: 18 September - 22 October 2023


Evenings at 19:30

Sunday matinees at 15:00

Prices: Tickets from £15

Running time: approximately 80 minutes without an interval



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