Tag Archives: Angus Castle-Doughty

The Net Kill

The Net Kill


VAULT Festival

THE NET KILL at the VAULT Festival


The Net Kill

“kills with a witty script that manages to avoid clichés in unexpected and humorous ways”


The Incognito Theatre Company describe The Net Kill as a play about badminton — “the most pointless garden sport ever invented”. But it’s about much more than that, of course. It is a delightful caper about five friends who go on a “quest” to rid the West Country of a fearsome creature who has been slaughtering aristos and yokels alike. They are also hoping to rescue their beloved local pub from permanent closure. These two utterly unrelated events are linked by a lot of rushing about on stage, with badminton racquets. Oh, and shuttlecocks. And a net. Sound like a lot to cram into sixty minutes? Absolutely, but it’s sixty fun filled minutes of impeccably choreographed physical action. The Net Kill also kills with a witty script that manages to avoid clichés in unexpected and humorous ways.

The plot is a comfortable mash up of elements stolen from Sherlock Holmes novels and the Boys Own magazines. Whatever else transpires in this tale, you know the chaps will triumph in the end. They begin by taking on local badminton tournaments with aplomb. Their talent for winning does not go unnoticed by shadowy figures lurking in Queen Victoria’s police force. Soon the team is on its way to Gloucestershire to face a ravenous beastie armed with nothing other than the aforementioned badminton racquets. Are they true blue, upstanding and heroic figures? Like all heroes, they have a few flaws. They cheat a little, it is true; one of their number has a King Arthur complex; another has lycanthropic tendencies as a result of being raised by wolves in Wales. At least one has a megalomaniac desire for aristocratic titles. Yet it is these flaws that allow them to confront the beast without and within.

What sets the script of The Net Kill apart is that each role is clearly defined even though much of the action revolves around ways in which the characters act as a pack. Armed with a script that needs impeccable comic timing, some props and an ironic choice of music ranging from Vivaldi to Led Zeppelin, the company makes the time zip by. In addition, actors Angus Castle-Doughty, Charlie MacVicar, George John, Alex Maxwell and Daniel Whitlam display athletic skills that would put most athletes to shame. If they can keep up this pace without burning out, Incognito Theatre is going places.

Enthusiastically recommended. Even if the heroes of The Net Kill do employ dodgy tactics for winning badminton tournaments.


Reviewed on 7th March 2023

by Dominica Plummer

Vault Festival 2023


More VAULT Festival reviews:


Caceroleo | ★★★★ | January 2023
Cybil Service | ★★★★ | January 2023
Butchered | ★★★★ | January 2023
Intruder | ★★★★ | January 2023
Thirsty | ★★★★★ | February 2023
Kings of the Clubs | ★★★ | February 2023
Gay Witch Sex Cult | ★★★★★ | February 2023
Love In | ★★★★ | February 2023
666 Hell Lane | ★★★ | February 2023
Police Cops: Badass Be Thy Name | ★★★★ | February 2023
Patient 4620 | ★★★ | February 2023
It’s A Motherf**king Pleasure | ★★★★ | February 2023
Naked Chats | ★★★★ | February 2023
Caligula And The Sea | ★★½ | March 2023
Fruits | ★★★★★ | March 2023

Click here to read all our latest reviews


Tobacco Road

Tobacco Road

VAULT Festival

Tobacco Road

Tobacco Road

Network Theatre

Reviewed – 13th February 2019



“the onstage members create five well-delineated characters and enliven a familiar genre with some fluid story-telling”


Where better to stage a tale of London’s 1920s criminal underworld than in a venue hidden behind anonymous double-doors down a service road below Waterloo Station (yards from where eight men were killed in a 1927 riot between the McDonald and Sabini gangs)? It’s here, as part of the VAULT Festival, that the suitably-named Incognito Theatre Company tell, with immense vitality, a story of two small-time East End gangs. One, all-male, is a group of pals recently demobbed and desperate for the good life; the other is an all-female team who delight in duping drink-sodden gents as they roam London’s clubland in search of a good time. Tiring of the petty rewards to be gleaned from fixing fights and picking pockets, respectively, the brawn and brains realise that they could be better together and form a powerful alliance. Led by the ambitious Felix Vance (George John) they grow into a syndicate of successful felonious enterprises, enjoying glamour and excess to the point where they feel, mistakenly, ready to take on London’s most dominant and vicious gang.

There is another gang at work here in the team of old school friends who founded this now independent theatre group. As well as exuding rambunctious esprit-de-corps, the onstage members create five well-delineated characters and enliven a familiar genre with some fluid story-telling. Angus Castle-Doughty is perfect, attacking the role of pugilist Tom Carlisle with fierce commitment while still creating empathy. Jennie Eggleton inhabits the hard-as-nails Elsie Murphy with chilling accuracy. All display impressive accents and movement, not to mention the stamina necessary when dialogue is woven into a continuous sequence of beautifully lit moments of physical theatre. The non-stop pace allows few pauses for breath with audibility suffering slightly, but even at full pelt the cast manage to invest unlikable characters with redeeming qualities.

The high point is an illegal boxing scene in which bandages are used ingeniously to evoke the ring from various angles, including the vertigo-inducing perspective of the Tom as he takes his dive. Credit goes to Director, Roberta Zuric, Choreographer, Zak Nemorin and Fight Choreographer, Lisa Connell but also to Sound and Lighting by Oscar Macguire and Freya Jefferies. The script sags when the mob reach the height of their infamy as, with nowhere to go, the characters reflect, row, dance and drink together without further exploration of their lives, relationships, or anything else. But that is a minor reduction in the voltage of this energetic display.

The company’s all-female management have clearly inspired a team ethic, as off-stage and on-stage creatives work throughout to create an hour of relentless entertainment. Their slick yet punchy show proves that gangs work well in the West End too.


Reviewed by Dominic Gettins

Photography by Tim Hall


Vault Festival 2019

Tobacco Road

Part of VAULT Festival 2019




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