"Miscommunication leads to strong action"
by Sascha Cooper for remotegoat on 17/02/19

'The Language Archive' explores life in a very different way. How we can change the course of our lives just simply by what we say, or more importantly, do not say. This play shows how various people display love, whether intentional or not by a strong group of actors, despite the text feeling like it was too long in the first half.

Sam Chittenden as a director made this piece extremely relevent to today despite the era it was set in. It was clear that she had made strong choices with in the round staging and choosing one of the most adaptable and simple sets I have seen in a long time, as well as encouraging the actors to be in the moment the whole time.

Alex Bond took on a strong role in the form of George, who was obsessed with language and the power it held, yet he couldn't hold onto his wife. His journey was an engaging experience, mixed with feelings of frustration, doubt and split seconds of happiness. This is a skill which is not normally seen from actors playing complicated roles on stage, so well done to Alex for getting George perfectly.

Bridgette Ann Lawrence played George's wife Mary with such sensitivity and passion, that when we saw her completely changing her life in front of us, we as an audience felt empowered by her story. She is an actress worth watching due to her natural ability to evoke emotions most women feel when they are trapped in a marriage going nowhere, as well as her innocent joy she conveyed when she finally found her way forward.

On the opposite side of the spectrum, we come across a young girl called Emma who worked with George, but she had feelings for him she could never say out loud. Cata Lindegaard portrayed this role extremely well. It is very easy to get stuck in a role that seems to just have one aim in a play like this, but she was able to show that she was more than just a lovestruck girl. Her raw honesty shone as more was revealed about her and why she was making the choices she made.

Justine Smith was one of two actors who took on multiple roles with ease. She may be new to acting, but she has extremely strong potential to expand her great skills even more. Occasionally it seemed as Alta, she displayed elements of non confidence in her ability, but there was no need. Out of the roles she did, Alta was the one role that taught and reminded us that no matter how you show it, or how much you may hate people at certain points in your life, love was a universal language and the way she took on a special language we do not always hear today was beautifully handled.

Finally, Culann Smith completed the strong cast with his multiple roles. Again, he displayed strong acting skills, but occasionally dropped his voice too low so even on the front row, it was a little hard to hear. Plus it may have helped with a little more visual variation in his roles of Resten and the Old Baker just so it was a little more sharp on the changes. Apart from that, the way he handled all three characters was really smooth and easy to watch. I particularly loved the grumpy set in his ways Resten and the enigmatic Zamenhof.

This play is one to be watched for its Brechtian approach to storytelling and for the passion that communication, whether intentional, not spoken or non deliberate, can inspire change. This is a play that life coaches and any holistic practitioners could take a lot of inspiration from, for the sheer volume of inspiration it can strike.

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