SAD ★★★ Omnibus Theatre | April 5 - 30, 2022


Unfortunately, for us, SAD, Victoria Willing's eighty minute play, didn't quite hit the mark. We meet Gloria, a middle-aged woman who has recently lost her mother and is estranged from her daughter. Her backstory could be interesting, but it isn't sufficiently developed. She now lives in the attic and won't come downstairs for even the most basic bodily functions. Three other characters appear in Gloria's life, but only Daniel, a somewhat pompous and unpleasant local government officer, comes across as a rounded, if unsympathetic, individual. We first meet him as he climbs into the attic through the Velux window for what appears to be a regular sexual encounter with Gloria. He may not be nice, but he is believable. Magda, a Slovakian woman and Graham, Gloria's husband, complete the cast. Several loosely connected scenes left us searching for a thread. SAD, or Seasonal Affective Disorder, is barely discussed; it is patently obvious that Gloria has serious mental health problems but, again, they are glossed over. Yes, there are elements of black humour, but these feel extremely uncomfortable and impossible to find funny if one has ever encountered people suffering with the type of illness which Gloria is experiencing. Nevertheless, Debra Baker works extremely hard to create her character and Lucas Hare, Kevin N Golding, and Izabella Urbanowicz put in fine performances. Marie McCarthy's production is excellent and Alys Whitehead provides a superb set. However, good as both performances and production values may be, it ultimately feels as though this material sadly lacks focus.

Rated: ★★★

Reviewed by D.S.J.
Photo by Dan Tsantilis.

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