"This gets the populist vote"
by Debra Hall for remotegoat on 14/05/19

Last night’s large turn-out was an out-and-out signal of this story’s popularity. The main plot, in this stage adaptation by Rachel Wagstaff and Duncan Abel, cuts through. It catches all the story threads of the sub-plots without missing anything; very clever. The flow doesn’t labour. Everything is so very well done, the staging and the technical input bolsters it all up to a high level. All cast members are tip-top professionals.

Alcohol induced amnesia sufferer, The Girl (Rachel), drunkenly pads about here and there. Saturday had been a bad night. She’d a nasty bump on her head to prove it. When Rachel gets wind that exhibiting artist, Megan (who likes snogging on her balcony and doing a spot of babysitting in her spare time) has gone missing, Rachel thinks she knows something (she’s not quite sure what) so she infiltrates Megan’s home.

The backstory goes that Rachel has envied Megan and her husband, Scott’s relationship from afar. The irony is that Rachel could have carried out her stalker fascination a little closer to home (away from the window of a passing train), in her own back yard in fact, if she had still been married to Tom. Her ex, Tom, still resides in their marital home; a home he now shares with new wife, Anna and baby. A home situated close to the seemingly impregnable, Megan and Scott. To cap it all these two sets of ‘unbearable’ couples happen to be friends.

Relationships are so tangled, the proximity so narrow, that the revelations that come about designed to add ‘meat to the bone’ only results in me concluding that this is more a soap opera than a drama.

The hint of sarcasm in my overview above will indicate that I’m not a fan. I give full credit to this production I hasten to add, I’m just not a fan of the source material on which this play is based.

Interesting as a critic however, that my press partner was captivated by all aspects of the story-lines. Why were our opinions so split about the content? I can only put it down to being, for him, a fresh introduction in the form of an excellent stage play, where, perilously, my mind was clouded by unexplained forces that spoiled it a little for me. Nonetheless, awarding this on its own merit, as I should, and so it receives four of the shiniest stars and a recommendation to go see it.

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