A Life Twice Given, Upstairs at the Gatehouse - ★★★★★ - Until October 6, 2019

Photographer: Sheila Burnett

Absolutely superb performances make this disturbing play quite outstanding. In these incredibly uncertain days the prospect of cloning humans is far too close for comfort, but here, in Gail Louw's adaptation of David Daniel's book, it is sensitively used to tragic effect. If less well performed and directed (by John Burrows) it could be mawkish. Indeed, the performances leapt off the stage. As the tragic father Johnny Neal really took flight; it is a complex character with lots of words and contrasting emotions. Johnny was stunningly good. He is matched all along the way by Natalia Campbell's mother who gets compelled into situations she is extremely unhappy with. Both actors conveyed the passing years most convincingly. Twenty-year-old Damian Reyes-Fox played the son from childhood to student doctor. In his big scene at the end he really performed brilliantly. The audience was held totally rapt throughout; this is a tribute to the faultless delivery and tremendous rapport between the actors. The excellent use of choreography also moves the story along and the physicality of the two accidents was brilliantly realised. As the lights faded on the final tableau we knew we had seen something deeply disturbing but impeccably conveyed.

Reviewed by D.S.J.

 Our Score:  ☆☆☆☆☆ 

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WHEN, WHERE, GETTING THERE:
Until October 6, 2019
Thu - Sat: 7:30 pm, Sun: 4 pm
Upstairs at the Gatehouse
Nearest tube: Highgate Station
http://www.upstairsatthegatehouse.com/a-life-twice-given

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