"More than just a question!"
by Colin Hake for remotegoat on 09/06/14

'What If' is a new piece of writing by Jennifer Sarah Dean and Directed by Elizabeth Kent and recently one the Lost Theatre's One Act Festival. This performance at The White Bear certainly lived up to it's recent accolade.

The play tells the story of the relationship between Jamie and Daisy, but it is no ordinary relationship. Jamie suffers from a condition that means he has to say or do what is on his mind, leading to awkward, honest and (without giving too much away) heartbreaking consequences.

The script is quick and witty and the performances are well polished. Lee White (as Jamie) has a wide eyed intensity and encompasses the awkwardness of the character perfectly. Abi Blears' Daisy is a ball of energy on the stage, but not without subtlety. Her wonderfully layered character work comes across strongly in a heart warming and genuine performance. Her eyes draw the audience into every feeling her character experiences.

The show is paced and timed well by the narrator (Kate England) who's role is fluid and adds dynamism and interaction to each transition, allowing the story to unfold like a comic book. Completing the cast is a well thought out and entertaining performance from Michael J Ansley as Richard, Daisy's gregarious brother.

'What If' (notably without a question mark in the title) sucks the audience into a love story that touches the heart, but highlights many of our own individual thoughts about acceptance and 'fitting in'. It suggests that Jamie's condition is not a hindrance as he believes it is, but something we should all perhaps embrace and is summed up beautifully in the final comments from the narrator.

A well written and consciously directed play that never drops a moment, this theatre piece is not only entertaining, but thought provoking. This is a high level fringe theatre piece, worthy of a bigger stage.

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