Image credit: The Other Room’s website
Opening during the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2005 and recently dazzling the audiences around New York’s Broadway circuit, the Olivier Award-winning show, Blackbird has come to Porter’s offbeat enclave known as The Other Room for a special run made possible by the production team, Those Two Imposters.
The Other Room has provided us with some quality productions this year, and this Autumn Winter season opens with a dark, unsettlingly and captivating piece.
Two people; Una (Sophie Melville) is a girl looking for a guy, Ray (Christian Patterson), who has hurt her in her past and has caused all of the pain that they have both been through until this point. They are meeting at Ray’s place of work, in a rather unkempt office space, to hash out what will become a dark and surprisingly fascinating recall of their past.
The subject matter certainly isn’t for the faint of heart, and the portrayals of these characters as damaged and dishevelled-looking is immediately apparent.
“One of the best shows I’ve seen at The Other Room”
Una has an angry delivery, Ray with his fevered agitated exasperation, all the while talking to each other like they want to be rid of this moment and away from their intertwined past.
Occasional moments of humour are punctuated by explosive rants and stark revelations, and the two actors have clearly worked hard to find the level of realism that they convey during the performance.
If you appreciate a slightly dingier portrayal of modern issues, then this is definitely for you. It can make one seem uneasy, but the pace of the piece allows for the gamut of emotional barrage to be easily manageable.
A good hour or so in length, this is certainly one of the longest shows I’ve seen at The Other Room, but it almost certainly is also one of the best.
Utterly compelling from start to finish.
Blackbird continues at The Other Room until 4th November. More info here.
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