by Josep Maria Miró i Coromina translated by Dustin Langan..
Park Theatre (Park 90) Clifton Terrace Finsbury Park To 11 May 2014.
Tue-Sat 7.45pm Mat Sat & Sun 3.15pm.
Runs 1hr 30min No interval.
TICKETS: 020 7870 6876.
Review: Timothy Ramsden 27 April.
Makes a big emotional splash but nothing comes clean.
Though its writer and director are both Spanish, this script and its production have a resolutely English tone. It’s not a matter of setting – designer Cory Roberts’ swimming-pool instructors’ changing-room has the air of a public baths and locker-room that might be almost anywhere. But the names, the voices and the manner of behaviour might be happening round the corner.
Except they wouldn’t. Who runs the pool is unclear, and whether Anna is owner, director, manager or a lower sort of supervisor, are among the matters never defined. But she would have been out of any of those jobs long before the end, if only for failing to suspend Brandon when a parent accuses him of kissing a boy he’s teaching in the pool.
A kiss on the mouth, it’s stated, though that detail’s denied at first, then quoted without challenge. It’s how rumours grow. But something happened, which Brandon puts down to cheering-up a member of his class still afraid of the water.
There’s hardly a character whose behaviour is credible, certainly in a British context. Brandon would have been out, Anna visited by her bosses, or by police and social services and a formal investigation undertaken – her informal questions and searching through lockers would not answer that requirement.
Matt, the other instructor, would not have been able to meet or talk with Brandon, on or off the premises, once the accused had been escorted to collect his personal possessions and then seen off the site while the investigation happened.
David, the concerned parent who arrives demanding an explanation, would have been referred to the formal investigation. That should have helped see off the final assault in which parents are heard shouting abuse and their children hurling stones at the baths.
Maybe it’s the Spanish way. In which case the country has a prescription for irresolution and confusion. But the play as a whole seems more concerned with concocting situations which allow characters to confront each other with theatrical emotion than with taking an approach which would allow a more revealing approach into what had happened, and why.
Brandon: Lee Knight.
Anna: Kathryn Worth.
Matt: Matt Bradley-Robinson.
David: Julian Sims.
Director: Marta Noguera-Cuevas.
Designer/Costume: Cory Roberts.
Lighting: Charlie Lucas.
Sound: Max Pappenheim.
Assistant director: Ryan Bradley.