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Charlie Cox Runs With Scissors 

Confronting death, and living to joke about it

Wednesday, Jun 8 2005
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From the scythe-wielding Grim Reaper of folklore to Brad Pitt's turn as the deathly Joe Black in the movie Meet Joe Black, culture is constantly coming up with new ways to personify mortality. In Marin Theatre Company's production of Michael McKeever's Charlie Cox Runs With Scissors, the character of Death can perhaps best be described as a wisecracking pixie crossed with Robert Smith of the Cure. Upon discovering he has only 18 months to live, book editor Cox (Howard Swain) finds himself confronting death in an unusual way when he picks up a black-clad, spiky-haired teen (Liam Vincent) hitching a ride to, as his sign reads, "Nowhere" on a lonely desert road in Arizona. McKeever's affable but rather simplistic play belongs to that most underpopulated of genres: feel-good dramas about dying. Though packed with snappy one-liners and effervescent performances (particularly from Swain and Anne Darragh as the widowed owner of a dilapidated desert motel), Charlie Cox more lollops than runs.

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Chloe Veltman

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