May 23, 2011 | by  | in Theatre |
Share on FacebookShare on Google+Pin on PinterestTweet about this on Twitter

The Lead Wait

Leon and Juliet are brother and sister. Juliet and Ian are lovers. Leon, Juliet and Ian live together in the middle of nowhere. Leon has an obsession with digging holes (in search of what, we are never quite sure). The home is falling to pieces—Ian in all his sweetness doesn’t appear to mind, whilst Juliet bites her lip and gets on with life. The house is transformed into a single space (bathroom-cum-dining room-cum-kitchen), solely defined by missing strips in the carpet where walls supposedly used to be. One night a not-so-strange stranger comes through the door. There are canaries.

It is difficult to breathe during this play as you never really know when it would be appropriate. All four roles are performed with an intensity that would burn holes into concrete (mildly softened by Ian’s gullibility), and yet I found myself erratically giggling at the barbed, black humour that thankfully lightens the mood somewhat. The notion of forced exposure seems essential to this play, elevated by a hyper-realism expressed through stifled domesticity. A bath is poured within the first ten minutes and over the course of the evening each cast member takes a dip; a fish is gutted, steamed and devoured before us; the roof starts to leak under the barrelling sound of heavy rain.

Andrew Foster’s stress on intimacy carries on from direction to design, a remarkable meeting of realism and abstraction. The audience sits on either side of the living room, the exquisite meticulous attention to detail alienated by the sight of an audience directly beyond. The effect is both haunting and engaging, as the ‘realism’ is performed on stage whilst the reality stares straight back.

Purely in practical terms, the play at times verged on losing pace through extended silences, and the odd line was lost due to the sheer vastness of Circa One. Nevertheless, The Lead Wait is a tantalising sensory experience of sight, smell, and sound that suspends its audience for eighty breathless minutes of harrowing discovery.

The Lead Wait

By Jo Randerson

14 May – 11 June at Circa One

Share on FacebookShare on Google+Pin on PinterestTweet about this on Twitter

About the Author ()

Comments (1)

Trackback URL / Comments RSS Feed

  1. Frenchie says:

    Which came first, the problem or the solution? Luckily it doesn’t mtater.

Recent posts

  1. Turns out there wasn’t a bomb LOL
  2. IDF soldiers speak on campus
  3. Why I voted for fee rises
  4. Fuck the Establishment
  5. Facebook upset over fee rises
  6. Hack Like Nobody’s Watching
  7. The Ian Curtis Memorial Wall, Wallace Street: An Investigation
  8. Why I Hate Baby Boomers
  9. Foibles of a Foxton Forger
  10. Coppers Become Croppers

Editor's Pick

In the Shadow of the Kowloon Walled City

: At its peak, the Kowloon Walled City was home to 33,000 people in just two hectares of land—a hastily put together conglomerate of tiny apartments, one of top of the other, caged balconies slapped onto the sides and connected through a labyrinth of damp, dark corridors.