"Kick For Touch"
The latest in the On The Edge season of rehearsed readings in the theatre at Chapter saw a rare home town outing (and a near full house) for a play by Peter Gill, the Cardiff-born playwright and director who’s developed his reputation in London from the 1960s onwards. “Kick For Touch” (originally produced at the National Theatre in 1983) is a chamber piece about two brothers, Joe (Nick Wayland-Evans of Only Men Aloud) and Jim (Dick Bradnum), reunited in adulthood after a traumatic childhood separation, and Joe’s wife (Polly Kilpatrick) who finds herself torn between them. It’s a fascinatingly intense experience, with director Bethan Morgan’s use of lighting cleverly building a claustrophobic atmosphere, and the powerful performances quickly drawing us into the characters’ painful co-dependence. The precise nature of the incident in the distant past which might have a bearing on the brothers’ present predicament remains (intentionally) obscure, which is frustrating; but the piece as a whole provides a bracing emotional workout for actors and audiences alike.