by Howard Colyer.

Seen 27 August 2013
By Howard Colyer

Brockley Jack Studio Theatre 410 Brockley Road SE4 2DH To 7 September 2013.
Tue–Sat 7.45pm.
Runs 1hr 15min No interval.

TICKETS: 0844 8700 887.
Review: William Russell 28 August.

A moving evening of small things.
Howard Colyer is a miniaturist. This triple bill consists of three miniscule plays – Never Have I Seen Mount Fuji, which gives its name to the evening, Conference Call and Nothing Else Ever, performed on a stark set consisting of a series of platforms and moveable boxes.

Location is not the point. They are all impeccably performed, although in the first – Never Have I Seen Mount Fuj – the characters do seem to spend a lot of time heaving the wretched things around to no great effect. The plays are unrelated, there is no common theme, but they do combine to make an impressive, if undeniably brief, whole.

In Mount Fuji a middle aged, rather prissy civil servant, also a writer, beautifully played by John Paton, embarks on an affair – perhaps – with a slightly younger woman, also a writer, who works as a hotel receptionist and has, we discover, been sectioned. It is a strange romance between two bruised people.

In the second play, Conference Call three doctors are interviewing a man over the telephone. He has done something. Or perhaps not. His wife has been shot dead. Did he do it? What does he remember? Has he blacked something out too awful to face? It is quite sinister and leaves one still in the dark when it ends.

In the third play, Nothing Else Ever two octogenarians are talking at cross purposes, the woman harping on about how Jesus cursed the fig tree for not bearing fruit. She is perhaps looking back in sadness at a wasted life. The man really does not care much what she is saying. The effect is unsettling to say the least.

Maybe the plays would work better on the radio, but they are effective enough in a studio theatre like this. It is a tiny evening, full of small things, about sad lives which have hidden depths, hidden horrors.

Gosia Roska is wonderfully worrying as Hannah, the possibly mad receptionist in the first play, and Judy Tcherniak very touching as the octogenarian Anne im the final piece, with a past as sterile as that tree.

Never Have I Seen Mount Fuji:
Hannah: Gosia Roska.
Harold: John Paton.
Director: Sarah Marr.

Conference Call:
Martin Mill: Daniel Wiltshire.
Doctor Rye: Jess Tobert.
Doctor Walmer: Laura Mullholland.
Doctor Deal: Ruth E Mortimer.
Director: Scott Le Crass.

Nothing Else for Ever:
Anne: Judy Tcherniak.
Mungo: Gareth Pilkington.
Director: Sarah Marr.

Designer: Vicky Sweatman.
Lighting: Stuart Glover.
Sound: Max Pappenheim.

2013-09-02 15:04:54

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