by Alexander Moschos.

Brockley Jack (Jack Studio Theatre) 408-410 Brockley Road SE4 2DH To 23 February 2013.
Tue–Sat 7.45pm.
Runs 1hr 40min No interval.

TICKETS: 0208 699 3966.
Review: William Russell 14 February.

A Whale of a Time.

Alexander Moschos has written an interesting play about the plight of a woman suffering from dementia, one which takes us into her mind rather than leaving us watching from the sidelines. Director Matthew Parker has tricked it out with visual images projected onto the set and sentimental records from the woman’s past, but sometimes he achieves confusion in the mind of the audience rather than conveying confusion in the mind of the woman, which presumably his intention.

Set in Sweden, for no very obvious reason, we are given the memories that are echoing through the brain of the elderly woman, Ingrid – beautifully played by Illona Linthwaite. There are her meetings with her husband as a young man in a bar called The Blue Whale, encounters with other people, some of them sexual, battles with her carers – some treating her as a child, some flirting with her – with her husband, now a retired doctor wilting under the burden of looking after this infant person once his wife, and with their daughter who is unhappily married and cannot come to grips with her mother’s situation.

Moschos has difficulty in bringing it to any sort of conclusion in dramatic terms – for obvious reasons – but he has written some telling dialogue and it is his first play. As a look at someone trapped by their condition, unable to communicate, to say something as simple as “I love you” much as they want to, Brainville at Night is extremely touching. Robert Hickson as the worn out husband matches Linthwaite, and as his younger self and assorted carers Eddie Usher is well worth watching. The rest of the cast are also on form. Not a bundle of laughs by any means, but Moschos is a writer to watch.

Ingrid: Illona Linthwaite.
Sven/Barman: Robert Hickson.
Man/Carer: Eddie Usher.
Girl/Maria: Sophie Dora Hall.
Daughter/Woman: Fleur Shepherd.
Lottie: Julia Faulkner.

Director: Matthew Parker.
Designer: Sara Polonghini.
Lighting: Joshua Pharo.
Sound: Amy Mae Smith.
Projections: Mafalda Cruz.
Movement: Alyssa Noble.

2013-02-17 10:40:45

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