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Published on Tuesday, 18 May 2010

This is an excellent and ambitious production – and far better than its blurb suggests. On the face of it, this was not going to be original; the story is set in a police cell, and the main character, Harry, doesn’t remember why he’s there or what happened the night before. When the play opened with Harry sat opposite a police officer in interview, I anticipated the focus would be on the interview itself, maybe even as a vehicle for a statement on police powers. Wrong!

This is a story about Harry. That he ends up in a cell, accused of his girlfriend’s murder after a drunken night out, is not the point; the interview only provided a context for the story to unfold. In fact, this is a play about relationships.  About friendships.  About the people in our lives and the people we encounter, and how our perception of them often reflects our own desires or suspicions, needs and insecurities.

My attention was held throughout the 55 minutes, and this fact alone speaks loudly for both the story and the production – performed as it was in a hotel room in broad daylight, with only a table and chairs as props. The actors deftly moved these without causing distraction as the scene switched from cell to bar to restaurant to park bench. If the company had delivered the play less skilfully, the room would have been blatantly unsuitable; but on the contrary, I was right there in the cell, the bar, the restaurant, the park. It worked because the actors were at ease with their roles, achieving an interesting balance of being both separate from and intimate with the audience.

I have only one criticism: the actress playing Melissa changes part way through, and though this was a clever device I thought it was unnecessary. There is just no room for any query or incongruity in the time or space of this intense performance.

Overall though, this was an inspired performance. Its Brighton run is now over, but I recommend it thoroughly to anyone in Edinburgh this August.

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These are archived reviews of shows from Brighton 2010.  We keep our archives online as a courtesy to performers, and for readers who'd like to research previous years' reviews.