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A CurtainUp Review
The play jump-cuts between soliloquies, past and present, and short, agonizing scenes. Si and Kay are young lovers, but she can't understand why he suddenly left town. She buries her hurt in a new marriage and baby. We see Si's father incapacitated and mute in a hospital bed where the mother can finally unleash years of unhappiness and tell him exactly what she thinks of him.
Si, after wandering for many years and bouncing from one girl and job to another, returns many years later to deal with his father's slow decline and finally with Kay. He must tell her the truth of why he left all those years ago, and see if there is anything left to salvage between them.
Actors Rhian Blythe as Kay, Lisa Palfrey as Mam, and Sion Pritchard as Si are a great team. For such emotionally fraught subject matter, the actors proceed on a mostly even keel. Even in the middle of breakdowns, their performances are rooted and solid. This speaks to their ability as actors, but keeps the play from feeling emotionally truthful. Because of this, the production lags. At two hours, it feels too long.
The interweaving of time periods and the individual characters' journeys are very well done, but the play doesn't build to a climax. It merely wanders back and forth and suddenly lands, seemingly by accident, on the climax. Part of this may have to do with the claustrophobic acting space. Sandwiched into Theatre C at 59E59, the three actors (all of whom are usually onstage at once) have what seemed to be about six square feet to act in. This included Rhys Jarman's bizarre yet effective set design, which consisted of a weirdly distorted hospital bed accompanied by a weirdly high chair.
The actors use the space effectively, but there's little physical movement and a great deal of the dialogue is directed toward the audience; at times it feels as if the story is not moving forward at all. However, the language is lovely, the story is moving, and the structure, despite being occasionally distracting, is spun together well.
Director Stephen Fisher keeps the pace as brisk as possible, and prevents the story from veering off into some potentially very maudlin territory.
Ultimately, Blink is a mixed bag—great writing, but a bit of a slog to sit through.
Try onlineseats.com for great seats to
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