Just Before Sunrise

Wed 11th – Sat 14th March 2015

reviews

Anna Wyn Davies

at 09:57 on 13th Mar 2015

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Deadpan Theatre’s “Just Before Sunrise” displays a cosmic understand of life and love, and with it’s humor and whimsy, it brings it back down to earth and makes it an incredibly moving production.

What baffles me the most about “Just Before Sunrise” is the story. Max Kirk’s script displays an incredibly perceptive understanding of relationships from the beginning to the end. The story of June the dancer and Bruce the astronomer at the beginning and end of their lives is incredibly mature, from meeting at University to Bruce’s battle with Alzheimers. It manages to leave the audience in stitches as we laugh at the incredibly awkward and inarticulate moments between young/old June and Bruce. Kirk (only in his second year) has such a universal understanding of life, and show’s that his work is way beyond his years.

The performances also display an incomparable maturity as well. The old June (Bryher Flanders) and Bruce (Harry Trewaldyn) display a chemistry that evokes the hilariously adorable relationship your parents or grandparents probably have. The chemistry between the young June (Jude Mack) and Bruce is as palpable, but Jonas Moore as the quirky, awkward and lovable astronomer is a stand out performance.

The directing was also remarkable, especially when working with such a complicated script. The past and future interlaces throughout the whole play, and the quick transitions (in the middle of scenes) between the two are seamless, illuminating the parallels between our later lives and our younger selves.

The set almost works as a conceit for the whole play. Wall to wall the set is covered in astronomical diagrams, quotes from the play, June’s list of dreams, time signatures for a waltz. The mixture of images on the blackboard shows the various little intricacies that make up our existences. Though their lives are ordinary, Kirk uses their small existences to explore big ideas of fate and purpose. It made the audience laugh and cry (in some instances at the same time), and as I was by myself I had to hold back the tears to attempt to look less odd. It is a must see production. “Just Before Sunrise” is the slickest student production I've seen.

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