Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Review: Stitches ****

Set in a post-apocalyptic future where survivors are trying to piece together memories of things now lost, Stitches is a well-written and intriguing new work from award-winning playwright Claire Urwin.

In the Department of Flora & Fauna, four conscripts labour on creating quilts depicting the connections and links between barely-remembered creatures wiped out by the 'firestorm'. They bicker and argue throughout, the snappy dialogue containing some cleverly-written comments on the class system and modern-day materialism.

Into the mix arrives a new girl, Amy, excellently portrayed by young actress Elizabeth Hopper. A member of the lowest caste of survivors, her performance is filled with facial tics and expressions, and wild gazes and movements from eyes that have seen too much too young. As the play unfolds, with good pacing by director Rajiv Nathwani, dark secrets are unearthed and relationships already thin are stretched to breaking point.

The young female cast are all accomplished actresses, with Hopper and Vanessa Fogarty as the aloof and snobbish Bel being given the best roles and lines. With a larger stage and better lighting than the confined space of the Radisson is able to provide, Stitches would be hard to fault, and it is to the cast & crew's credit that their production shines through these small limitations to provide an hour of excellent student drama that is superior to many productions from much more experienced companies.

Stitches runs until August 29th at Spaces at the Radisson. £7 (£5 concession)

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