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Thu 13th – Sat 22nd November 2014

reviews

Holly Humphrey

at 00:22 on 19th Nov 2014

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The basement of the Old Bristol Vic is home to this inquisitive piece written by Samuel E. Taylor, Co-devised and directed by Sita Calvert-Ennais and Co-devised and performed by Philip Perry. Philip Perry portrays Finn: a disillusioned man who discovers information about himself when he becomes a trainee intelligence analyst, that should never of been uncovered.

In this monologue directed towards his sister, he goes backwards and forwards in time between family holiday memories and information he found out recently, and reveals how he discovered he was adopted the day he was introduced to the intelligence service. This phenomenally written piece makes you smile, cringe, and stay aghast as you discover more and more about this mysterious man's life.

The entire play is staged around Finn recording a message to his ‘sister’, using a recording device. The prop of the recorder is well integrated in the set with Perry moving around it, occasionally bringing it with him. It is also interesting how he censors himself and re-records over certain parts of his own speech, which adds to the dramaturgy of the entire plot. Curiously there are interludes of manic exercise, which interrupts the monologue every so often; although it gives the audience a break from his monologue, I think it distracts us as an audience.

We see the turning point in Finn’s life when during training it is drilled in to him ‘Never be seen, never be heard, never get found out’, which is drilled into the audience by this line being repeated with a drum beat behind it which crescendos slowly. During the training it is also revealed to Finn that he is adopted and therefore he adopts this mantra in his unhealthy obsession with stalking his family, and intervening in such a way that is destructive.

Perry particularly shines in the way he keeps the attention of the audience on his own but also when he illustrates dialogue between himself and others, putting on a particularly impressive Scottish accent. He shows the emotional distress of an adult who is experiencing emotions of a disillusioned child and expresses them in a very convincing manner.

Overall, this play is an impressive example of a man who knows everything but who was better off blissfully ignorant. His unhealthy relationship towards his, former, ‘sister’ makes us question whether this information turned his adoration and sibling love into erotic love. By having too much information we see his own life destroyed and therefore him destroy others. Perry shows this emotionally unstable but yet very focused character extremely well and holds the audiences attention unequivocally throughout the production.

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