TIME IS LOVE/TIEMPO ES AMOR
By Che Walker.
The Finborough Theatre, 118 Finborough Road, London SW10 9ED to 26 January 2019.
Tues-Sat 7.30pm Mat Sun 3pm & from 12 Jan Sat 3pm
Runs 90 Mins No interval.
TICKETS: 01223 357 851
Review: William Russell 3 January
Low life in LA
The production is slick, the playing immaculate, and one eventually gets over Walker’s decision to write some of it in Spanish, fair enough since most of the Angelinos involved are Hispanic – although it has the odd moment when one has to rely on how the actors are behaving to understand what they are saying. It holds the attention, but it is difficult to care for any of them and that is a problem. A play should involve one’s emotions, make one care what happens and why it happens and for all the skill on stage it left me cold. You can admire, respect but ultimately it is a case of not liking the people whose messed up lives one is watching or caring whether they survive or not.
Narrated by sex worker Rosa (Sheila Atim) it tells how Baz (Gabriel Akuwudike) and his best mate Karl (Benjamin Cawley) carried out an armed robbery which resulted in Karl running away and Baz doing three years in jail. The robbery opens the play with the two men, masked and carrying torches as well as guns, menacing the audience. Then we move through time. Baz is out. His woman Havana (Jessica Ledon) is happy to have him back, but while he was away she had a relationship with Seamus (Cary Crankson), the cop who arrested him and a lecher. The result is pretty predictable. Karl wants Baz back as his best mate, Baz gets uptight when he discovers that Havana has not simply waited for him, even if she has no intention of leaving him, Seamus being a port in a storm as it were. There are terrific back projections which enhance the real people on stage, and the cast conjure up these low lifers superbly – Akuwudike is a terrific hunk with more muscles than brains, Crankson makes the sleazy cop a sexy predator to admire and Jessica Ledon is touching as the luckless Havana.
There is much to admire in this the first production of 2019, not least the writing because it is a most skilful piece directed with imagination by the author, but one’s emotions were never engaged.
Rosa: Sheila Atim.
Baz: Gabriel Akowudike.
Karl: Benjamin Crawley.
Seamus: Cary Crankson).
Serena: Sasha Frost.
Havana: Jessica Ledon.
Director: Che Walker.
Lighting Designer: Tim Van’t Hof.
Production Electrician: Angus Chisholm.
Composer: Sheila Atim.
Videographer: Chair Rolfe.
Choreographer: Jonny Vieco.
Associate Director: Mo Sesay.
Production photographs: Dominic Graham-Hyde.