Lately ★★★★ Lion & Unicorn Theatre | October 5 - 9, 2021


Lately by James Lewis addresses the very emotive and sensitive issue of suicide among young men. Lewis has a beautiful and poetic command of language and this is well served by director David Brady. The circular nature of the plot tells the stories of Alison and Callum, their unhappy home lives with dysfunctional, abusive parents and their attempt at a relationship. Eventually Alf chooses to run away to the big city. Cal remains only to choose a more final and tragic way to escape. The young couple's plight is beautifully realised in the performances of Lauren Ferdinand and, particularly, Matt Wake. Played on a virtually bare stage with some well chosen projections, the tone becomes quite filmic which really suits Ferdinand's intimate performance. Wake's strong delivery makes every word count and we were particularly moved when he spoke of his father's death from a stroke. Strikingly lit, the intensity of his stillness spoke volumes. Indeed, Wake makes a very fine professional stage debut. The play's final scene gives Alf an emotion laden monologue which Ferdinand delivers to perfection. Lewis uses the recurring image of a ship under attack from a sea monster, can we defeat the monster or shall we surrender to it? Sadly, for too many, there seems no option other than to surrender. When given such extremely fine treatment as it is here, this thoughtful and moving play certainly demands to be seen.

Rated: ★★★★

Reviewed by D.S.J.
Image ⓒ Proforca Theatre Company Limited.

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