Writer: Simon Stephens
Director: Dana Segal
Reviewer: John Roberts
The Public Reviews Rating:
With the Olympics just gone and the seventh anniversary of the July 7th bombings in London not long past, there doesn’t seem to be a more perfect time to revive one of Simon Stephens’ most powerful and blisteringly truthful plays, full of vivid imagery, powerful dialogue and layered characters, Stephens’ script is a tough beast to get to grips with especially with such a young cast at the helm.
Dana Segal’s production allows her young cast to fall into the pit of every trap possible; clichéd performances, accents that wonder around more than the LX tape tube lines laid out on the playing space and poorly executed tableaux to name some of the biggest problems. Segal also fails to realise that a thrust playing space has three sides and that to focus most of the action end on is a fatal flaw which needs to be drastically sorted especially with a show that only has a run of one week.
Whilst one would like to give credit to certain performances, a cast list of actors in alphabetical order and no characters means that those who deserve praise are unable to receive the necessary credit , however hard they work on stage (and they do) the young cast need more guidance and attention to detail in bringing Stephens’ text to life, we need to believe in these characters to become complicit in its powerful message, a valiant effort but let down by a lack of imagination and poor direction.