Starved

3
Sun, 21st Jul 19
Seen at the Hope Theatre.

Starved review. Photo lhphotoshotsTwo characters. Squatting in a bedsit. Hiding from an unexplained past. Surviving on alcohol and shoplifted food. Going nowhere… And that’s the problem. The play is so obtuse, lacking narrative drive or purpose that it does not deserve such a quality production. If the writer cannot bother to name his characters, (Vladimir and Estragon perhaps), why should I care about them? Sadly, I didn’t, as the play unsurprisingly looped back to repeat its cycle. Within this hour, however, there are some striking passages and comic lines which are delivered beautifully by the two actors.

The first impression is good: a scruffy room enmeshed in a loose rope net or spider’s web with the characters mooching inside. Clever lighting sets up excitement. An unsettling soundtrack continues the atmosphere, blending with real sounds from the street outside. Michael Black and Alana Connaughton make a believably unattractive couple trapped in this mysterious netherworld. Their complaints, jokes and arguments ring true, but the script gives them nowhere to go.

The production is good: the play disappoints.

Derek Benfield


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