Skip to main content

Shattered


Rose Theatre, Edinburgh
Three stars

Lucy sits in her living room, watching the world go by in the middle of the night when most of the world is sleeping at the start of Lisa Nicoll’s new play for the young In-Motion Theatre Company in association with Paisley Arts Centre. As night painfully blurs into dawn, Lucy obsessively documents every move of the early birds passing through outside, fixed on their daily routines en route to somewhere else. Lucy’s partner Ben is one of these, checking his hectic schedule, forever in transit and forced to share airspace with happy families caught up in their own daily grind. Most of all, Lucy watches the cafĂ© over the road where Tom serves skinny lattes to strangers. Only when Katy comes stumbling into everybody’s lives full of no-holds-barred energy does Lucy feel like she can start living again.

As the quartet’s lives criss-cross each other, Nicoll charts the agony of loss following a life-changing tragedy barely spoken of, but which hangs like a black cloud over everything Ben and Lucy do, say and feel. Jordan Blackwood’s elliptical production takes this simmering everyday crisis and, through a mix of internal monologue, an elegiac score and a quartet of finely nuanced performances, creates a slow-burning meditation on grieving, healing and the surprising comfort of strangers.

Kirsty Findlay captures Katy’s full motor-mouthed breathlessness that leaves Nebli Basani’s Tom so taken aback. If Katy is the catalyst for change, there’s a more painful sense of intimacy at the heart of Ben and Lucy’s relationship. Gavin Jon Wright invests Ben with an unspoken sadness, though it’s Nicola Roy’s portrayal of Lucy, locked within herself but so in need of closure, that drives the show’s brooding 75 minutes, in which only the hardest things to confront are left unsaid.

The Herald, May 25th 2018

ends

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Maids

Dundee Rep

Two sisters sit in glass cases either side of the stage at the start of Eve Jamieson's production of Jean Genet's nasty little study of warped aspiration and abuse of power. Bathed in red light, the women look like artefacts in some cheap thrill waxworks horror-show, or else exhibits in a human zoo. Either way, they are both trapped, immortalised in a freak-show possibly of their own making.

Once the sisters come to life and drape themselves in the sumptuous bedroom of their absent mistress, they raid her bulging wardrobe to try on otherwise untouchable glad-rags and jewellery. As they do, the grotesque parody of the high-life they aspire to turns uglier by the second. When the Mistress returns, as played with daring abandon by Emily Winter as a glamour-chasing narcissist who gets her kicks from drooling over the criminal classes, you can't really blame the sisters for their fantasy of killing her.

Slabs of sound slice the air to punctuate each scene of Mart…

Phoebe Waller-Bridge - Fleabag

Phoebe Waller-Bridge is a busy woman. The thirty-two year old actress who burst onto our TV screens as writer and star of Fleabag, the tragi-comic sort of sit-com about a supposedly independent woman on the verge is currently overseeing Killing Eve, her new TV drama which she's written for BBC America. As an actress, Waller-Bridge is also filming a big screen project which we can't talk about, but which has already been outed as being part of the ongoing Star Wars franchise.

These are both pretty good reasons why Waller-Bridge won't be appearing in the brief Edinburgh Festival Fringe revival of the original stage play of Fleabag, when it opens next week at the Underbelly, where it was first unleashed to the world in 2013. In her place, Maddie Rice will take on the role of the potty-mouthed anti-heroine after touring Vickie Jones' production for Waller-Bridge and Jones' DryWrite company in association with Soho Theatre. This doesn't mean Waller-Bridge has turned…

The Divide

King's Theatre
Four stars

Everything is black and white in Alan Ayckbourn's new play, a six hour two part epic set in a dystopian future where men and women are segregated from each other following the aftermath of an unspecified plague. Into this landscape, the secret diaries of brother and sister Elihu and Soween are brought to life by Jake Davies and Erin Doherty with a wide-eyed lightness of touch as their hormones get the better of them when they both hit puberty.
Annabel Bolton's production for the Old Vic, EIF and Karl Sydow begins with a TED Talk type lecture that reveals the back story to how things turned out this way. It ends with a sentimental love story designed to tug the heart-strings. Inbetween, there is teenage rebellion aplenty against the regime's institutionalised repression. Liberation comes through art and sex, which, in such extreme circumstances become even greater life forces.

With both plays told through the siblings' diaries alongside ass…