Beast by Elena Bolster at London’s White Bear Theatre

Posted: June 13, 2012 by Ben Sargent in Uncategorized


On Saturday we traipsed out to a pub in Lambeth to see a fringe production that looked interesting, and we were glad we did. The 50-minute show on a spare set with two actors turned out to be a prose and verse stunner written by Elena Bolster and directed by Natasha Pryce. Produced by UNTitled Theater, it runs until 17 June 2012 at The White Bear Theatre.


The action follows the love and death of  painter Egon Schiele with enough realism and dignity to be touchingly beautiful and emotionally realistic. We loved the professionalism of the writing and of the acting, with Kieron Jecchinis as Egon and Mel Oskar as “Valie” (the historical Valerie or Wally Neuzil), the young prostitute he meets who then takes up with him as model, muse, and in the end, nurse. The use of film and music was subtle, almost minimalist, but struck us as deft and confident, giving the show texture and dimensionality without complicating or distracting the flow. Superbly done all around.

A painting of Wally by Schiele:


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s