SUNDOWN: Darren Haywood
Taking Chances at Blue Orange Theatre, Birmingham
Runs: 22 – 24 July 2013, 45 minutes, no interval
Part of Birmingham Fest
Review: Alexander Ray Edser, 22 07 13
Sensitive writing, sensitively portrayed.
SUNDOWN is a sensitively written 45 minute play. One of the advantages of initiatives such as Birmingham Fest (with its one-hour slots) is that it offers opportunities for works such as this.
Darren Haywood places two strangers on the top of a cliff – the view is spectacular. The characters are very different – Lara, a successful solicitor, Kris a jobless, drop-out from university. The only thing they have in common is their unhappiness with their lives, their feelings of failure. Haywood offers no resolution in his play (avoiding, possibly, unwelcome sentimentality) but the characters are saved by the simple action of making connection – one human being with another – however fleetingly.
Emily Summers creates Lara. Summers skillfully projects for us Lara’s emotional exhaustion without making the character unbearable to watch. Benjamin Thorne’s Kris is suitably off-hand, ironically distanced from his emotions. Between them they also bring some gentle touches of humour.
Haywood directs his own work with success, drawing out from the actors the characteristics he needs. This is an entirely static play and it says much for the over-all quality of the writing (there are one or two awkwardnesses where characters seem a bit too knowing) that it holds our interest. The action of the play is muted, but is always present.
Lara: Emily Summers
Kris: Benjamin Thorne
Written and Directed by: Darren Haywood