The last time I saw Gwenllian Higginson perform I went home and downloaded a couple of Kodaline albums onto my phone. The tracks are still accompanying my journeys. After seeing Critical Ambition’s production of Blink at The Other Room I walked away with Pink Floyd’s ‘Wish You Were Here’ in my mind. I love how much theatre aligns with music. I love that music can allow you to relive the best of theatre.Jonah and Sophie present a love story. Two people with separate paths. Until life’s curve balls sees Jonah moving to the flat underneath Sophie’s.
There is a wonderful quirkiness brought to Phil Porter’s script through director, Dan Jones. The narration of life before meeting bringing much laughter. Tom Myles’s Jonah enables a humour to simmer as the story unfolded, as personality traits and habit take on what is enough to result in police intervention. But this, this is a love story.This love story is brought to us with more than a tinge of sadness, not only is the meeting of Phil Porter’s characters a result of losing loved ones to cancer, but a love built on tendencies which create humour, which are surely over when the truth is known and love can’t be sustained.And yet there is something beguiling of this love, a love built on a reliance on a monitor, grown watching soaps on a tv monitor.
The conviction of love is built through innocence, through the space exposed through love lost. It is humour which allows an audience to build empathy, to fall for a love created.
Tom Myles creates an uncomfortable, yet endearing Jonah. It creates the conviction in his foibles. And yes, “I say ‘foibles’, you say ‘stalker'”. Reinforcing the conviction in the comedy and empathy created.
The staging of this play allows the story to cleverly unfold thanks to Cadi Lane’s seemingly simplistic design. The numerous scenes four sides of a design can play out is convincing. It is Matt Jones’s sound design which had me intrigued. Seemingly playing with your senses, it added dimension which seemed unnecessary but essential, the best contradiction.
Blink at The Other Room provides a warmth and laughter, it succeeds in a light-heartedness to the strife of today’s world. Never seemingly more needed than now.
I would have liked to escaped to the bar to continue life with my rediscovered light heart, but the comedy continued on the pub stage, with ongoing conversation not an option. I escaped to make conversation and discover the beauty of the Chapel.
I did however manage to carry on my own surreal. Waiting for the train and ending up in a taxi of seven, discussing the day’s events. With someone who had been at Porter’s on a first date. What are the chances?
Blink is at The Other Room until 18th November 2016, with tickets available from the website.
Photography credit: Aenne Pallasca
Disclosure: I received tickets for the purpose of this review. All opinions and words contained are my own.