Mark is a versatile London based actor
Green Eyes has a much less serious tone. Justinian (Compton) and Sally (Melanie Fenn) prepare for the arrival of young visitor Davis (Colling), overseen by the narrator (Craig Hannah). Much of the humour comes from the ridiculously moody scowls of Justinian and the long awkward pauses. Director Phillip North's hand is felt more keenly here, he shows great flair in translating Green Eyes from a short story into a blackly comic piece of theatre. Rather than holding a toy cat, Justinian spends an inordinate amount of time stroking a burnt orange pillow. There's a hint of Bond villain to his actions and also of general madness. From the very beginning, he strikes us as unhinged, bizarre, possibly some sort of secret axe murder. He continually bursts out with socially inappropriate comments and actions which are both menacing and petulant at the same time. There's a distinctive, unsettling kind of humour to Green Eyes, which gives rise to plenty of laughter.
The second story is Green Eyes. Although this is not as dark and intense in tone as the first story, it deals with true monsters and is in my opinion, even more chilling and disturbing. We meet Justinian (Compton) and his wife Sally (Melanie Fenn) who are awaiting the arrival of a guest for dinner. The visitor is a young man named Davis (Colling again – who seems to have more fun in this role). The Narrator (Hannah) has a more traditional, less interactive role. Justinian comes across as a very disturbed man with serious issues; he strokes and talks to the family cat in a maddening way which leads to more laughs. There is a scene where the three sit down for a Sunday roast. Imagine the first time you sat at the dinner table with your new girlfriend’s/boyfriend’s parents. It’s always filled with awkward moments of silence and judging stares which we all can relate to. Well that situation is taken to a hilarious extreme here with Justinian being socially outrageous and vexatious towards the poor Davis. By the end, Justinian truly becomes a real-life monster. It’s shocking and unsettling; however, it really is a testament to Nicholas’ understanding of the genre and talent he possesses.
The second serving of the double bill was Green Eyes. Set on a snowy day and with Craig Hannah narrating, the story focuses on Justinian (Compton) and his wife Sally (Melanie Fenn) who are waiting for a guest to arrive for dinner. Later we find out that the guest is a young man called Davis (Colling) who believes that Sally might be his real mother. From the outset it is clear than Justinian is not altogether a ‘well man’, in fact, he seems pretty psychotic right from the opening scene whereby he stares out the window at the snow, stroking the family cat. Green Eyes is a much lighter story than Tunes from the Music Hall and from that very first scene, the audience wasn’t far off doubling over with laughter, which seemed only to spur Compton on, pushing him to reach further depths of creepiness (the kind of creepy that makes you physically shudder). The audience watched (and chuckled) in amusement as the couple’s guest arrives and the evening gets off to an awkward and, not to mention, rocky start. After dinner, everyone retires to the living room and this is when things really start to heat up, with Justinian becoming seemingly more unhinged and inhuman with each moment that passes. Then comes the twist and boy, is it a good one.
Malleable of morals and worshipper of all things chic, Mark Philip Compton is impressively unappealing as the slippery Damaso. Vain, cowardly and malicious, Compton savours his character’s repulsiveness, putting on a performance that is as enjoyable as Damaso is hideous...
Finally, Mark Compton as Damaso seems to have jumped out of the book, with his chic-erie, slyness and presumptuousness....
Mark Philip Compton’s character, Damaso, embodies the plight of the Portuguese ruling class, insisting everything is “chic”, despite his character slowly self destructing
Compton’s Ray functions mostly as a kind of comic relief--slow, out of shape, too subservient to Neil. But when we learn of his past failed relationship and when we finally see him stand up to Neil, we realize that that pain and strength were there all along.