OK, Bye, 4****, London

OK, Bye devised by RedBellyBlack

The Vaults (Short walk from Waterloo Stations) until 11th March
Runs 1 Hour

Veronica Stein, 9th March, 2018.

Family matters matter

Alice, Peter, and Ollie are siblings like any others. There is an older one who takes responsibility for the rest, a middle one who gets away with anything, and a baby who is always seen as a bit lost (and maybe is). They wrestle and joke with ease- but there’s nothing like a tragedy to bring a magnifying scope to relationships and tensions to the fore.

OK, Bye starts especially strong with three monologues that individualize Alice, Peter and Ollie, and it would’ve been lovely to have a longer piece in exchange for more of these moments. It is a testament to the writing  (as well as the performers-especially the comically gifted Sam Cornforth) that these people are interesting and recognizable as soon as we start to get to know them, but a detriment to the piece that we don’t learn too much more about them as individuals by the final image. The storytelling is clear even contending with verbatim portions, but we’re left wanting more: more of the climactic moments and more time before their resolution. These verbatim bits that include recordings  revolving around goodbys could possibly seem disjointed if they weren’t executed with such merit. Funny and often wistful, they give welcome scope to the piece and a contrast to the insularity of the narrative.

The central storyline of OK, Bye is familiar and resonant, but made new through its movement language, which is playful and unpretentious . Although the piece is only an hour, the physicality communicates an intimacy in only a few moments and doesn’t faff- we recognize the siblinghood and are convinced of their bond quite quickly. In OK, Bye, reinforcing the value of what we say before the goodbye, RedBellyBlack establish themselves as refreshing storytellers and a company to watch.

Oscar Scott-White
Sam Cornforth
Kate Goodfellow

Director: Vicki Baron
Artistic Director: Kate Goodfellow
Composer/Musician: Andrew Armfeild
Designer: Jessica Sinclair Martin
Lighting/Sound Designer: Abi Toghill

2018-03-11 15:29:06

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