Tag Archives: Matthew Seager

In Other Words – 5*

 

In Other Words

The Hope Theatre

Opening Night – 2nd March 2017

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

“Apple. Labrador. Grass.

This is one impressive play you will never forget”

 

We first meet Jane and Arthur, the two characters in this one act debut play from Matthew Seager, upon entering the theatre. They are seemingly a care free couple enjoying some time together in their living room. As the audience settles, there’s a dramatic change, Arthur suddenly slumps into his chair, his body twisted and his speech incoherent …

In Other Words follows the couple’s journey from ‘the incident’ of how they met to the tragic situation they now find themselves in. This is a story about dementia and unconditional love.

The duo playing the couple, Celeste Dodwell and Matthew Seager are both young actors. At times, without tuning in to fleeting references or referring to the programme, it’s not always clear what period of time has elapsed and indeed how old the characters are. This comes across as a deliberate ploy to make you think and to raise awareness that this cruel disease itself, takes little notice of age.

The scenes flit, via white noise, muffled words and flickering lights, between Arthur being his usual cheery self, and each of the progressive stages of his illness. 

At times humorous, with Arthur’s early forgetfulness jokingly brushed aside as male stupidity, the laughs slowly become fewer. We are taken on Arthur’s tear jerking one way trip through doctor’s appointments, diagnosis and prognosis, to the hollow shell of a man he becomes.

“It feels like he is leaving me”, Jane says as she struggles to cope with Arthur’s increasingly challenging behaviour. Yet despite the extreme pressure she is under, only once do we see her snap, an action she instantly regrets. This is a man she still dearly loves even though to him, she is a stranger.

By the final scene, the only thing left that invokes any semblance of the old Arthur is the sound of hearing  ‘their song’ Fly me to the Moon. That one enduring link to the moment they met, now being all that is left from a lifetime of memories.

For such a moving piece, at times needing total quiet to portray the raw emotion from the actors, The Hope has a few issues. There was a lot of noise from downstairs and being on a main road, the occasional siren or hooting of horns interrupts the moment. Not a lot that can be done about this as it is a pub theatre in a busy location, but this was my one and only issue with the performance.

Both characters are truly believable, a credit to the actors involved, and director Paul Brotherton. Matthew Seager captures every subtle detail of Arthur’s spiralling decline to perfection. You’ll want to rush out and hug Jane, so convincing is Celeste Dodwell’s harrowing performance.

This is an incredibly well structured work. Seager’s research into the condition and his facilitation of sensory workshops in a dementia care home (which showed him how music can build links to reality), have enabled him to make this a terrifyingly accurate picture of an illness affecting so many. 

Apple.

Labrador.

Grass.

 

This is one impressive play you will never forget.

 


 

In Other Words

by Matthew Seager

 

is on at The Hope Theatre until 18th March

CLICK HERE FOR TICKETS

Production photography by Alex Fine

 

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In Other Words

In Other Words

by

MATTHEW SEAGER

 

28 Feb – 18 Mar | The Hope Theatre

 

“I’d always fancied myself as a bit of a Sinatra.
And that song, at a moment like that.
Well, it just doesn’t get much more perfect, does it?”

They call it ‘the incident’ now. What happened, when they first met. He always said it was part of his romantic plan, but they both know that’s rubbish. Join Arthur and Jane, at the beginning, as they tell us their story. 

Fresh from a residency at the Lyric Hammersmith as part of their Emerging Artists Programme, Off the Middle are excited to present Matthew Seager’s debut play IN OTHER WORDS, directed by Paul Brotherston.

This intimate, humorous, and deeply moving love story, explores the effects of Alzheimer’s disease and the incredible power that music has in helping us to remember the past, connect to the present, and hope for the future.

Brought to life by two actors, we are led through fifty years of Arthur and Jane’s relationship, jumping in and out of memories and experiencing, for brief moments, a failing mind as it loses its grip on reality.

 

Cast

Arthur – Matthew Seager
Jane – TBC

Creatives

Producer – Stephanie Withers
Director – Paul Brotherston
Assistant Director – Euan Tyre
Designer – Paul Brotherston
Sound Designer – Iida Aino
Stage Manager – Stephanie Withers

 

Off the Middle are an exciting new company currently presenting two original shows. In Other Words was developed as part of the Lyric Hammersmith’s Emerging Artists Residency, and Lead Suspect was awarded the Farnham Maltings No Strings Attached grant. For In Other Words, Off the Middle are also proud to be working in association with The Alzheimer’s Society and Playlist for Life, and under the mentorship of Hartshorn – Hook Productions. Lead Suspect will tour in Autumn 2017.

Listing

IN OTHER WORDS

by Matthew Seager

28 Feb – 18 Mar
Tuesday – Saturday 7.45pm

 

The Hope Theatre
207 Upper Street
London N1 1RL

Tickets £15 & £12 concs
Box Office: 0333 666 3366

www.thehopetheatre.com

 

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