Blakeson - Writer

Cardiff-based film, theatre and gig reviews, cultural ramblings, whingeing, short films, etc.

Monday, February 27, 2012

"For Once"

My first visit to the studio space at Cardiff’s newly redeveloped Sherman Cymru was to see “For Once”, from Shropshire-based Pentabus Theatre – remounted after a successful few weeks at the Hampstead Theatre last July, and off on tour once the Sherman run is over. Tim Price’s sensitive and witty chamber piece sees a middle-class family attempting to hold things together following a deeply unfortunate incident which has left their small community devastated. Geraldine Alexander and Patrick Driver are effortlessly likeable as April and Gordon, the traumatised parents of Jonathan’s Smith’s unhysterical teenager Sid, who has survived the tragedy, although he has lost some good friends, and the sight in one eye. Through intertwining monologues with illustrative interjections, we gain a clear picture of a cosily suffocating village existence (claustrophobic enough even before the dreadful event), and of the protagonists’ variously unsuccessful coping strategies. Orla O’Loughlin skilfully directs the action such that life is seen to go on (on Anthony Lamble’s cleverly all-encompassing domestic set), even as each character lets us in on his or her predicament; the sound design (by Christopher Shutt) is subtly impressive. Dark secrets emerge, and the play ends on an ingenious visual metaphor, with Sid choosing to keep himself blind to a disaster occurring within his own home. Nothing revolutionary here in terms of form or content, but human drama at its most relatable and engaging.

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home