Declan, The Actors Centre (online) - ★★★★ - Until June 28, 2020

Photographer: Jamie Luke Scoular.

"Thinking about thinking" says Jimbo in this solo performance where we seem to enter the protagonist's mind as he talks to us about his relationship with Declan - an unseen ghost/vampire/friend. The line between dream and reality is blurred as the pyjama clad and somewhat fey young man talks about his experiences. How real Declan actually is remains an enigma as we delve into Jimbo’s mixed-up mind. His mum, the old lady with cats, a neighbour and his nan’s 90th birthday are all conjured up. Vampiric overtones make the whole atmosphere slightly surreal, and by using minimal props in a bare studio, director, Alexis Gregory successfully creates an unworldly atmosphere. The isolation of this young man is palpable and many of Jimbo’s situations are extremely comprehensible as past, present and future merge ahead of the tragic ending. Author/actor, Alistair Hall, gives us an excellent performance as Declan, and with live theatre being unavailable, this video-streamed transmission is an interesting attempt to fill the void, falling somewhere between stage and television. The play recalls Alan Bennett's Talking Heads, using monologues in a not dissimilar way, and it is a mark of Alistair Hall's success that his work is actually comparable to that master of the genre. While the play may still need polishing, it is well written and well performed. And, it certainly made us think about what we are thinking about.

Reviewed by D.S.J.

 Our Score:  ☆☆☆☆ 

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WHEN, WHERE, GETTING THERE:
Until June 28, 2020
The Actors Centre (online)
Various show times available at:
https://www.actorscentre.co.uk/theatre/declan

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