- Dress Circle Reviews
Updated: Aug 19, 2022
Mother and Daughter Laurie and 14 year old Lottie are preparing for a trip to Cornwall with Lauren’s ex-husband, Lottie’s father, when Lottie’s teacher Sam arrives. It appears initially that Sam is there to return a school book Lottie had left but it is quickly revealed he was really there to express concerns about Lottie’s relationship with her father. Through the play the timeline of what he knew and his actions are called into question as are the mother’s. While they focus on recriminations about Lottie’s welfare she is mostly ignored.
The play itself has the makings of a good play but there is too much there for its 30 minute run-time. The play had the great dialogue which Cameron Corcoran is so good at crafting but the development of the story let it down. With the twists and revelations there was a lot going on which prevents any one part of the story from developing. The audience are constantly given new information but they aren’t given any understanding of what happened outside these events and why each character acted in the way they did. A lot “happens” but with little context. Normally he allows the tension to build up as the story flows but that wasn’t done here.
Within this framework the characterisations were impacted as it’s difficult to understand the reactions of the characters. Lucy Ramsden as Lottie’s mother was a stand-out performance but as an audience we weren’t given enough information to understand the character. Similarly with the teacher, the character was very much one note and again was missing a lot of story. There was a lot more there but it wasn’t given the time to develop. With Lottie the different personalities from scene to scene didn’t hinge together.
Upon leaving I felt like I had just seen the last quarter of a much bigger story, having arrived an hour late. While the dialogue and direction in particular were good the story and all the characters need the stage time to be developed more. It’s a good start for something that needs to be a full length play.
Rating: 3 Stars