Tag Archives: Reece Pantry

One Under


Theatre Royal Plymouth

One Under

One Under

Theatre Royal Plymouth

Reviewed – 24th October 2019



“being brave enough to leave parts of the story untold pushes this drama into a different league”


A young man jumps in front of a train. An act witnessed by the driver, Cyrus (Stanley J. Browne) who sits and waits to be interviewed by the police. His colleague reassures him that this will all be textbook. A few questions, make a statement. Cyrus will be offered a few weeks off work to recover. His colleague urges him to keep his testimony short and to the point; no ifs or buts. No-one wants an inquest.

But Cyrus has doubts – did the boy wave at him, just before he jumped? Did he mean to jump at all? We fast forward a few months, meeting Nella, the boy’s mother. She has befriended a local man, eager to help out doing jobs around the house, digging the garden. Cyrus has found the boy’s family, and makes himself indispensable. He is convinced that Sonny (Reece Pantry) has left clues behind. An unfinished drink, a launderette ticket. The fall is just the start of the story.

Cyrus begins an obsessive journey into Sonny’s last days – he urges Nella to remember any detail that may help, while Sonny’s sister Zoe (Evlyne Oyedokun) becomes aware of the stranger who has worked his way into her mother’s life. As she learns more about him, it becomes clear that Cyrus’ motivation runs far deeper than the cleansing of guilt.

Like every good thriller, One Under doesn’t leave us with every plot point examined; some threads are left exposed. What this production does especially well is to focus on the complex web of relationships that tell the story.

Diving in and out of the past, we are piecing together the narrative, a chain of events, just like Cyrus. We are led through a maze, first this possibility, then the next. But here, every false turn leads us closer to the truth. It isn’t until the final scene, and the last card is revealed, that we uncover a truth far more unsettling than previously imagined.

One Under, written by Winsome Pinnock, tackles some weighty subjects: suicide, trauma, the impact of grief. But cleverly, Pinnock frames the play’s ideas about these subjects against a handful of characters. To counter the dark nature of what is being discussed, Pinnock applies a lightness of touch – a spare set, just a few props and a cast of five. It stops us from feeling overwhelmed – it also gives the moments of heightened drama a real potency. Director Amit Sharma keeps a tight hold of the story; moving us quickly from past and present, home and work; perception and reality.

During the play’s 90 minutes, we become acquainted with the characters. A mother’s grief – so clearly visible that she clings to the kindness of strangers; a man haunted by an accident, turning his life upside down in the pursuit of answers. The cast work together beautifully, with Clare Louise English as Christine, and Shenagh Govan as Nella, in particular grounding the play with an emotional realism.

By using the thriller genre, One Under moves away from the ordinary; a sense of the domestic shifts dramatically into tension and fear. The key change is palpable, as the energy moves, and we find ourselves wrong-footed yet again.

One Under is a keenly enjoyable experience – and being brave enough to leave parts of the story untold pushes this drama into a different league. Complex and darkly satisfying, One Under proves that when drama moves beyond formula, anything can happen.


Reviewed by Helen Tope

Photography by Patrick Baldwin


One Under

Theatre Royal Plymouth until 26th Octobers




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Little Pieces of Gold – 5 Stars


Little Pieces of Gold

Staged Reading Sessions

The Space

Reviewed – 10th October 2018


“the event has become a kind of deconstructed theatre form, with high quality casts and directors attached to each low budget production”


Writers able to fund their own shows are unlikely to be the most deserving of exposure so Suzette Coon’s talent showcase is invaluable. It’s also a rich experience for audiences. Far from the dour-sounding ‘Reading session’ billed, the event has become a kind of deconstructed theatre form, with high quality casts and directors attached to each low budget production.

The night’s six works, chosen from six hundred, begin with a comedy that dredges laughs from the low wage economy. ‘Sandwiches’ by Clare Reddaway shows life on the sandwich production line, with three tightly written acts squeezing in erotic sandwich fillings, a villain with a whistle played by Nigel Fyfe and a showdown at the industry’s ‘Sarnies’ awards.

Two women also see off an obnoxious male in the second of the night’s comedies, ‘Body Language’ by Sarah Pitard. Stefan Menaul draws howls of recognition as the excruciating, self-obsessed Tom, hitting on Katrina (Amy Reitsma) while she is trying to read up on cancer. Both his monologue and that of the eavesdropping Susan (Meaghan Martin), a cancer survivor, are fluent, funny and fierce.

Most of the plays carry a message about modern life but the exception is ‘Bothy’ by Ben Rogers, a tale of two men taking refuge in the Scottish hills. Callum is a jolly, yet strangely sinister local handyman; Andrew is a claims manager up from Croydon. The economy of the script and the way it keeps the audience guessing as to the motives of Callum display a rare gift of scene-writing, heightened further by the performances and direction. (David Beatty, Adam Mirsky and Imogen Wyatt Corner, respectively).

‘Humane’ follows, by Polly Creed, reviving a forgotten news story about Essex locals who face down riot police to end live exports of animals. Absolved of the need for visual dramatics, this work is liberated by the format, as Georgia Nicholson sits facing the audience, relating her character’s story with obdurate humanity.

Little happens in ‘Becoming’ by Trevor Kaneswaran, just a few quiet moments in the life of Praveen, who rejects his Sri Lankan roots as he slopes home from football and exchanges monosyllables with his Mum like any British teen. Once his uncle arrives Praveen understands more about who he is and takes up cricket. Slow, filmic, even in this basic form, and elevated by Akshay Gulati’s perfectly pitched delivery.

The choice for finale is Chantelle Dusette’s Windrush tale, ‘Where de Mangoes Grow’. A simple but eloquent poem spliced through with a montage of scenes, moments and recordings, yet it conveys an entire era of betrayal. Exquisite performances from all, but Reece Pantry’s slow acceptance of loss is impossibly moving.

Beautifully curated, and with all six plays and their casts giving a glimpse of some eye-catching talents, the ‘Little Pieces of Gold’ enterprise is well-named.


Reviewed by Dominic Gettins


Little Pieces of Gold

The Space


Previously reviewed at this venue:
One Festival 2018 – Programme A | ★★★ | January 2018
Citizen | ★★★★ | April 2018
The Sleeper | ★★★ | April 2018
Dare to Do: The Bear Maxim | ★★½ | May 2018
Be Born | | June 2018
Asking For A Raise | ★★ | July 2018
Bluebird | ★★★★ | July 2018
I Occur Here | ★★★★★ | August 2018
Rush | ★★★½ | August 2018
Fleeced | | September 2018
Love is a Work In Progress | ★★★★ | October 2018
Woman of the Year | ★★★ | October 2018


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