The play "The Fastest Clock in the Universe" was written by author, playwright, and artist Philip Ridley. Ridley has said that "When you start writing, you're just touching your dreams" and the dreams he touches come out of an age, he believes, is without a God, where personal rituals are used by everyone to make the world around us more credible.

The Fastest Clock in the Universe deals directly with this concept of personal ritual. The play opens with the character Cougar Glass; a self-absorbed narcissus with a rapacious need to be young. Coming up to his thirtieth birthday, Glass, like a latter-day vampire needs an infusion of youth, something he intends to get by seducing 16 year old school-boy Foxtrot Darling for his own sexual gratification.

An unwilling participant in this is Glass' lover, Captain Tock. Tock is completely devoted to Glass, in spite of his beligerant and abusive nature, and Glass in return is also completely dependant on Tock, who helps him maintain his grip on youth, and to "make sense of a world that no longer makes any sense.". Resigned to Glass' birthday ritual of seducing teenage boys because he himself has "no more youth to give", he does however play the role of passive aggressive, refusing to leave when Foxtrot shows up for the party.

Glass' elaborate reality begins to break down dramatically, when Foxtrot brings his pregnant girlfriend Sherbet Gravel, who, in contrast to the naivete of her boyfriend, knows exactly what's on Cougar's mind, and also knows his real age, in spite of his protestations that he is 19 years old.

As the relationships between the characters break down, and not even the elderly Cheetah Bee can bring calm to the scene, Glass' plans unravel, and the rituals that keep him young and safe can no longer work their magic.

The Fastest Clock in the Universe was hailed by The Observer as "admirable, astonishingly cool, drawing attention to improbability while at the same time - against all the odds - preserving a sense of reality."

The play opened on the 19th of May, 1992, at the Hampstead Theatre in London. It was directed by Matthew Lloyd and starred Jude Law as Foxtrot Darling.

Info courtesy of :
City Limits magazine

If anyone can find the full cast listing (and crew if possible) please message them to me. Thanks.

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