King’s Head Theatre
Reviewed – 24th March 2018
“Barlow manages to completely maintain the attention of the audience throughout the entire show”
Put the Book Down’s ‘Mine’ is a pungent, deeply moving one woman show which brings to the light the experiences of parents whose children have done unspeakable things. Lasting only an hour, the show was touching and thought-provoking. At times hard to watch, at times hilarious. It strikes a perfect balance, making the story of a mother who has suffered at the hands of her son’s actions an unforgettable show.
Douglas Deans has created a work of art which seamlessly tells the story of a woman who wakes up one night to find the police at her door, telling her that her son has been arrested for something unimaginable. The script is incredible, flowing easily from one aspect of the story to another, giving the audience a completely coherent understanding of the emotional turmoil that comes with having a criminal for a son.
Masie Barlow is the perfect person to depict the wounded mother. She doesn’t layer on the self-pity too much, but her brave face is clearly hiding grief underneath. Barlow manages to completely maintain the attention of the audience throughout the entire show, an incredible feat when considering she has only a chair for company onstage. She easily and convincingly transitions between characters, re-enacting conversations that the mother has had with her son, the police, and other women. This was fundamental to the show maintaining its level of entertainment throughout, keeping the audience engaged by using one actress to multi-role between highly contrasting characters.
The Kings Head Theatre is small, but this creates a highly intimate environment, especially between Barlow and the audience. The audience act as her confidants, as she slowly unravels the story of her experience, consistently making eye contact with those watching so that you begin to feel completely involved in her story. Unfortunately, the sound effects were much too loud infringing on the wonderful performance of Barlow and causing the tension to be momentarily dropped. This is a small fault in such a wonderful show though, which has rightfully found its place in London after a successful run at Fringe Festivals.
Reviewed by Charlotte Cox
Photography by Matt Cawrey
King’s Head Theatre