Thursday, 27 July 2017

Theatre Review: The Plains of Delight at Theatre Utopia Croydon


The Plains of Delight by Colm MolloyDirected by Colm MolloyTheatre Utopia, CroydonMerde! Theatre 

Mona (Laura Perry) and Mac (Gary Cain) sit on a bench, day in day out going through the same routines, the same motions until one day Alfie (Bex Sain-ane Evans) and Jarry (Rish Shah) come along and disrupt their lives. And when I say they're a strange pair...you'd remember meeting them and probably wish you hadn't

This is the first production for Merde! Theatre, and one of the pitfalls I feel with putting on a first production is staging something the you want to be simple, but out there. You want to create a statement and make people remember you, but unfortunately I'll remember this for the wrong reasons.  

One of the main problems I had was the writing didn't have enough time to grow and develop. It's billed as a one act play and a lot unfolds within that 45 minute act. You are slowly fed information for you to imply their situation and you get to learn character very easily. You understand them and fall into their lives, become part of their routine almost but it doesn't go anywhere for either of you. You feel for both Mac and Mona in different ways, but I never really clicked with Mona as a character and a lot of what happened with her me didn't make sense. But you still felt for her plight, because of the way it affects Mac. This was where the heart was within the play, it was almost the Mac show.  

If they were the light, Alfie and Jarry were definitely the dark... the corruption of the play. The spanner in the work to interrupt the equilibrium. This is the point of the play i normally enjoy, the twist that brings a new vibe into action. Like all good travellers they had a story that with great grandeur and pomp they told. But it landed somewhat flat. It didn't go anywhere, as pointed out by Mac. The characters was verbose, and that worked, but it trumped everyone else in doing so. 

And what was Jarry...why was Jarry, I actually wanted to know, but never got to find out. Then something happens, which I won't describe as it's a big plot point but he then as a result gives this speech, that was beautiful in its tone and delivery (the highlight of the play), but then even that was flawed because the cleverness of its delivery tripped itself up by stretching it to out too long. 

I didn't know what to expect from The Plains of Delight, but I left feeling a little what have I just seen. There is definitely something here, I just want it to be developed more.



The Plains of Delight is on at Theatre Utopia until Saturday, tickets cost £8/6

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