Pros: A well performed and funny script, plus particularly good use of sound and lighting.
Cons: At just over an hour it could have done with being a bit longer for more plot and character development.
This is the story of five friends from a small village who have gone their separate ways, apart from Adam who has stayed put and feels as though he is sinking without means of escape. At his mother’s funeral the group of friends have reunited, and episodes from their lives, past and present, are gradually revealed.
Jon Tozzi is excellent as Adam, drowning in alcohol, boredom and rain. The rest of the cast also portray believable characters, none of whom appear to be able to keep quiet about things told to them in confidence, which is a bit of an annoying trait – a consequence of growing up in a village perhaps?
Occasionally the timing was slightly off – a sudden reminder of the fiction of theatre – and sometimes the accents sounded strangely unidentifiable, making me wonder where this village was supposed to be located. Watch out for the first-rate fight scene though, and the references to how expensive London is, which clearly resonated with the audience I was part of.
The good use of props, cleverly and seamlessly moved about by the cast, transformed the dark space of the Tristan Bates Theatre into a flooded cellar, a church, a pub, and a living room. Of particular note were the sound and lighting. The surround sound of torrential rain in the small space gave the impression that water was actually dripping into the room, and the sudden descent into darkness when the fuse box kept went wrong was also effective.
The play was very amusing (there is a warning about language by the way) with a couple of surprises and provided good entertainment for just over an hour, culminating in a “will he or won’t he?” moment. I think it would benefit from being a bit longer, allowing for some further character development and a bit more of a build up for the twists in the narrative. I was left wanting to know what happened next in the various relationships, and would also like to have seen the continued exploration of the question of whether or not we imitate our parents’ behaviour and mistakes.
As a first production from Paper Creatures Theatre it bodes well for the future. Catch it if you can, it finishes Saturday.
Author: Tom Hartwell
Director: Georgie Staight
Producer: Paper Creatures Theatre
Set Designer: Oscar Selfridge
Sound Designer: Benjamin Winter
Lighting Designer: Ali Hunter
Booking Until: 5 August 2017
Box Office: 020 3841 6611
Booking Link: https://www.tristanbatestheatre.co.uk/whats-on/flood