The Human Connection ★★★★ Omnibus Theatre | June 22 - July 4, 2021


The Human Connection, a double bill by Eugene O'Hare, is not exactly well balanced. The first monologue (Larry Devlin Wants to Talk to You About Something That Happened) lasts around twenty minutes, whilst the second (Child 786) is a two-hander running for over eighty minutes. For us, the first piece was much more impressive; it was considerably better written and superbly performed. Stephen Kennedy is in award-winning form as Larry. Standing alone in a pool of light, he nervously fiddles with his fingers and scratches his ear as he passionately recalls painful memories of hitting his eight-year-old son over twenty years ago. He gives a frightening and faultless performance. Perhaps, the writing, good as it is, lacks an overarching shape but it remains powerful stuff. Before a final shock, we suffer much of Larry's torment and heartbreak. This is spellbinding theatre! Child 786 left us with too many unanswered questions. O'Hare's take on the pandemic feels a little simplistic, clutching as he does at almost every conspiracy theory so far propounded including experimentation with a child's mental health and even circumcision. Sadly, this scattergun approach leaves us unsatisfied even though Ishia Bennison and Josh Williams perform outstandingly well as the mother and son, Hilary and Lennox. We particularly liked Williams as the five-year-old Lennox. Bennison's Hilary is redolent of Julie Walters in the role. Consequently, it is the first piece which we carried away in our hearts and minds; especially due to Stephen Kennedy's mesmeric performance

Rated: ★★★★

Reviewed by D.S.J.
Photo by Damian Robertson.

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