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Voices From Home – 3.5 Stars

Voices From Home

Voices From Home

Old Red Lion Theatre

Reviewed – 12th November 2018


“a varied and engaging night of promising new writing that hosts strong performances across the board”


Featuring some of the best emerging regional writers from the South East, ‘Voices from Home’ is an evening of five short plays curated by Broken Silence Theatre.

First up is ‘Sungrazer’ by Clare Reddaway. Two sisters hold very different views. One, Annika (Eleanor Crosswell) works in a nuclear power plant, unphased by its potential dangers. The other, Inga (Emma Howarth) is watching the sky for a comet with a green tail to pass overhead. Inga is desperately trying to persuade her sister not to continue working there, but to no avail so far. The narrative arch, Annika’s process of realisation, requires more time than is lent to it by this format. An extended version of this play would also allow the nuances to be pushed and explored, both within the story and within the characters who are currently predominantly stereotypical. This is a promising narrative that needs more space to be told in a genuinely complex and in depth way.

‘M** & Women’ by Sydney Stevenson imagines a dystopian future world in which all the men but one have been eliminated. We are meeting two of the guards who stand watch over the last living man. It is an interesting and topical premise, but ultimately is not sufficiently investigated. The complexities are not really found and it all feels a bit obvious. However the relationship between the two soldiers is built and developed in a really lovely way, and their rapport and sense of humour works really well.

Jo Gatford’s ‘Flying Ant Day’ is a moving picture of a struggling mother as she feels herself disappearing to the world. This is a much needed perspective cleverly interwoven with the story of a spider which she is keeping in the airing cupboard as it waits to give birth. The piece is occasionally a bit heavy handed and unfocused, but both performers (Jennifer Oliver and Emmie Spencer) are strong and engaging, carrying this promising piece of writing.

‘The Cromer Special’ is sharp, funny and the most successful piece of the night as a whole. Claudia Campbell as Maggie and Abbi Douetil as Lucy have a natural and genuine rapport onstage that makes for highly convincing performances from both of them. Their comic timing is perfect, and whilst this is, on the surface a comedy piece, this is also a play that is making poignant comments about class, education and youth.

To end the night is a monologue written by Olivia Rosenthall and performed by Isobel Eadie, entitled ‘Home Time’. What begins as a familiar account of the discomfort of the daily evening rush hour, becomes an even less comfortable account of sexual harassment on the tube. Whilst the opening mundanity lasts a little too long to remain engaging, the switch into what the monologue is really about is highly effective and very impactful, and Eadie’s performance is strong and convincing.

Voices From Home is a varied and engaging night of promising new writing that hosts strong performances across the board.


Reviewed by Amelia Brown


Voices From Home

Old Red Lion Theatre


Previously reviewed at this venue:
Nightmares in Progress | ★★★½ | January 2018
Tiny Dynamite | ★★★★ | January 2018
Really Want to Hurt me | ★★★★ | February 2018
The Moor | ★★★★ | February 2018
Shanter | ★★★ | March 2018
Plastic | ★★★★★ | April 2018
In the Shadow of the Mountain | ★★ | May 2018
Tales from the Phantasmagoria | ★★★ | May 2018
I am of Ireland | ★★★ | June 2018
Lamplighters | ★★★★ | July 2018
Welcome Home | ★★★ | August 2018
Hear me Howl | ★★★★ | September 2018
That Girl | ★★★ | September 2018
Hedgehogs & Porcupines | ★★★ | October 2018
Phantasmagorical | ★★★ | October 2018
The Agency | ★★ | October 2018
Indebted to Chance | ★★★★ | November 2018


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