Pros: A wonderful play brought to life by two outstanding actors
Cons: At times the American accents wavered
John Patrick Shanley’s classic play Danny and the Deep Blue Sea tells the story of Danny and Roberta. Both sat alone in a New York bar, they begin to chat and find solace in confiding things to each other they haven’t told anyone else. Their troubled lives mean they feel trapped in their own minds. For Danny, he struggles to stop himself from losing his temper and attacking everyone he meets and for Roberta, a dark past means she feel she deserves a miserable life as punishment. Sparks begin to fly between the two and although neither have anyone they can talk to, the longer they spend time together, the more intimate their conversations become. Their love story does not come without screaming arguments, awkwardness, violence and uncertainty, but ultimately the pair save each other.
The show is performed in Theatre N16’s new residence, and although the quality of the work makes is deserving of a bigger theatre, the intimate nature of the piece and the theme of suffocation that runs through it means the play being actually feels very at home. There is a bar that is already built into the performance space, where the pub scenes are played out and on the other side of the stage, Roberta’s room is recreated for the remaining two scenes. The colour blue is highlighted in the bedroom as well as in the costumes. As the piece becomes more intimate and emotionally naked, this is reflected in how much clothing the characters are wearing.
Gareth O’Connor and Megan Lloyd- Jones have been perfectly cast as Danny and Roberta respectively. They have wonderful chemistry and the slickness at which they perform the dialogue means that you are always on the edge of your seat. The dialogue flits quickly between calm, confessional conversations to passionate rage, and often includes a lot of funny lines; all delivered with real fire. The piece is very physical, and the combination of Courtney Larkin’s direction, Nicholas Koy Santillo’s fight choreography and Kate Lines’ movement turns it into a piece that twists and turns in movement as frequently as it does in emotion. Whether Roberta and Danny are fighting or making love, it is clear that the physicality between the two actors is very compatible.
An unlikely love story but one that really captivates, this production of Danny and the Deep Blue See is definitely worth a watch.
Author: John Patrick Shanley
Director: Courtney Larkin
Box Office: 07969 138 899
Booking link: https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/theatren16
Booking until: 14 April 2016