Leave a Message, Vault Festival - ★★★★ - Until February 21, 2019


Billed as a comedy, this excellent play has many tragic overtones. Ed comes with his girlfriend to clear out his late dad's flat: poor chap, what he finds is far from wholesome as the place is filthy and littered with empty booze bottles. Written by Ed Coleman with James Mitchell, the play is a reminiscence of his own experience and he plays the protagonist. It cannot have been easy to play this autobiographical character with all its attendant memories, but the performance is terrific, and every nuance of a complex character is captured. Gabrielle Fernie as the girlfriend and Hayley-Marie Axe as the old man's “friend” add plenty of colour. The production by Jessica Rose McVay is excellent as is Sarah Mercade's set, a stage-manager's nightmare. It is horribly realistic. Midway through there is a big plot twist which leads to a rather downbeat ending, but I particularly appreciated the lack of sentimentality. I certainly found myself believing in these characters and with plenty of well placed laughs to enhance the pathos, this is one of the best new short plays I've seen in a long time.

Reviewed by D.S.J.

 Our Score:  ☆☆☆☆ 

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WHEN, WHERE, GETTING THERE:
February 21, 2019
7:30 pm
Brick Hall, Vault Festival
Nearest tube: Waterloo
https://vaultfestival.com

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