Tag Archives: Jennifer Davis

Adam & Eve

Adam

Adam & Eve

Hope Theatre

Reviewed – 24th May 2018

★★★★

“The strength of the production most definitely comes from the acting abilities of the three performers”

 

Adam and Eve are a seemingly perfect couple, about to embark on a new life in the countryside and buy their first home together. Their affection for one another is made clear from the outset and we are truly swept away with it at the start of the piece. Eve even asks Adam if he thinks other people get jealous of their relationship. The young couple seem to have it all, but when one of English teacher Adam’s teenage pupils makes startling accusations that threaten the pair’s relationship, they are forced to question how well they really know each other. Is their marriage as perfect as it seems?

Having received rave reviews at Jack Studio Theatre last summer, this transfer, featuring Jeannie Dickinson reprising her role as Eve, and Lee Knight and Melissa Parker taking over the roles of Adam and teenager Nikki, clearly had a lot to live up to. The strength of the production most definitely comes from the acting abilities of the three performers. Dickinson and Knight, in the title roles, do a particularly good job at bouncing off each other and present believable chemistry. Melissa Parker is a convincing teenager and is engaging throughout her time on stage.

Given the fact that the acting is of such high quality, the minimal set is not an issue and there is no need for anything more than the two chairs and various small props used. It’s not hard for us to imagine the couple’s home, the school Adam works in, or the newsagents where Nikki works and some of the action takes place. Scene changes are primarily marked through the lighting, which darkens in an almost eerie way and is very effective. This even happens during the “honeymoon period” at the start of the production, perhaps a sign of darker times to come.

The small space of The Hope Theatre, and the way the seating has been arranged, means that sometimes actors perform with their backs to certain sides of the audience for a time. This is mainly an issue during some of the confrontational scenes, where it would add to the impact if we were able to see the facial expressions and emotions of all actors at all times. However, on a positive note, the intimate studio space means the audience can really feel a part of the action, which perhaps wouldn’t be the case if the performance took place in a larger venue.

Throughout the progression of this short piece, we are taken on the journey of a couple facing a major test to their “idyllic” relationship. Psychologically, Adam & Eve will have you questioning which version of events you believe and, just when you think you have it sussed, a plot twist will be thrown in to change your view. Directed by Jennifer Davis, this production is gripping and full of tension and I highly recommend it.

 

Reviewed by Emily K Neal

Photography by Tim Cook

 


Adam & Eve

Hope Theatre until 9th June

 

Related
Previously reviewed at this venue
My Gay Best Friend | ★★★★★ | January 2018
Cream Tea & Incest | ★★★★ | April 2018
Worth a Flutter  | ★★ | May 2018

 

Click here to see more of our latest reviews on thespyinthestalls.com

 

 

A Haunting – 4*

A Haunting

Vault Festival

Press Night – 16 February 2017

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

“Original, chilling and hugely entertaining”

The shows we’ve seen at this year’s Vault festival have fallen neatly into two categories – those ‘needing a lot of work’, and those that are pretty pleasing already. Nathan Lucky Wood’s A Haunting falls directly into the upper ends of the latter – not altogether surprising as it had run previously to mainly positive reviews at the King’s Head Theatre.

For this transfer, A Haunting is staged in one the Vault’s most atmospheric locations, The Pit, which perfectly evokes the chilling content of the play. If you’ve never visited the Vault Theatre, it is a hidden marvel with a labyrinth like array of performance spaces belied by its slightly insalubrious looking location.

The plot of  A Haunting explores the world of teenager Mark (Roly Botha), who like so many of his generation, whiles away the hours in an online gaming world. It’s in this world he encounters ‘Ghost’ (Jake Curran – the only cast member reprising his role from the King’s Head original),  at first just a faceless game-mate on Counterstrike but soon someone we start to question the motives of, which appear to be becoming more and more sinister…

When Ghost finally succeeds in cajoling Mark into meeting, there’s a certain assumption that you know what’s going to happen next. But A Haunting throws you a curve ball, this is not a straightforward tale of a confused teenager being groomed.

With errant parents, a father barely mentioned and a mother (Izabella Urbanowicz) blinkered to what’s happening to her son, Mark’s life appears to be in danger. Lured into the woods late at night, this is edge of your seat tension at its finest.

Teasingly the show leaves some questions unanswered and its ending open to interpretation by the audience.

Jake Curran plays the creepily unstable Ghost character so convincingly at times its frightening, whilst Izabella Urbanowicz as Mark’s mother Anna comes into her own when she finally realises the mortal danger her son may be in. Stand out performance though goes to Roly Botha, one of the brightest young acting talents around at the moment; you can genuinely feel for and believe in his character.

A Haunting has an all too short run – ending Sunday 19th February. But this is one of those shows, you just know will make a return. And return it must. Original, chilling and hugely entertaining.

 

 

 

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