4 Stages - Review
The latest play on at the Bread and Roses theatre is a new play written by (and starring) Brett Allen. It’s a character focused drama centred on the lives of three people.
Two close friends (effectively brothers) in their 40’s, Ben and Alex, meet up every month for a Games Night. Ben and Cat have recently had a baby and during one of the Games Nights Ben decides to record a time capsule of his life. Over several nights Ben and Alex interview each other and through these conversations hidden stories come out that has a profound impact on all of them.
The play is perfectly suited to the intimate in the round setting they’ve chosen. There were solid perfomances by all three actors. They had a very easy natural style, which was ideal for the intimate space, and they played well off each other. The natural rapport made it easy to believe they have known each other most of their lives with strong believable relationships. There are nuanced performances by all and the excellent direction ensures the story flows.
There was a good use of scene changes. Often these can feel drawn out but they use them cleverly to indicate where relationships are at. There was a simple set that made the setting clear and allowed the focus to remain on the actors.
One minor point of criticism would be early on in the play it felt like friends who were having fun which the audience wasn’t really in on. It would have been good to see some more comedy early on (maybe using scrabble?) to pull the audience in a little earlier before it hits it’s stride and especially before some of the more intense scenes later on.
The assured direction of Natasha Kathi-Chandra brings to life these three people in a compelling way and it was a privilege to see these wonderful actors play out this story. This is only on for 10 performances and I’d urge you to see it. We give this 5 Laura Michelle-Kelly stars. Tickets are available here: https://www.breadandrosestheatre.co.uk/whats-on.html