Rose Theatre, Edinburgh
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 café 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