Theatre in Wales

Theatre, dance and performance reviews

The Future Is Frightening, or is it the present?

Escape the Scaffold

The Other Room , The Other Room , April-20-17
Escape the Scaffold  by The Other Room From a small start all shows at The Other Room, Porters are now becoming theatrical events. Last year they had a good run of established plays and they are now at the end of an Outliers season of new plays.

The current show is "Escape The Scaffold" a three-hander by Titas Halder which originated at Theatre 503, Battersea.

The front room of a small house is the setting for this disturbing tale which follows the lives of 3 students, from their hopes of what they can achieve through to the realities of what life does to you. Rather than projecting this in a straight time-line we are constantly moved backwards and forwards in time ensuring the audience can never entirely relax knowing what will follow. This feeling of unease is exactly what the playwright wants as they shelter in this supposedly safe environment from the horrors of what is occurring outside. By never explaining, or showing, what is happening in the real world or how the they got into that situation the feeling of tension is somehow enhanced. Similarly, there is no sense of when exactly the play is set, in the far future , in the near future or possibly even tomorrow if you are pessimistic about the current state of the world.

For a play at The Other Room this is quite long, even featuring an interval. Normally you are in & out in seventy five minutes but "Escape The Scaffold" runs two hours and fifteen minutes and it is a credit to all concerned that time never drags. There are more scene changes than usual and in a small space this can be problematic but director, Hannah Price, designer Mark Bailey and Sound Designer Chris Bartholomew ensure such changes somehow enhance the style and atmosphere of the play.

The performances are of a high standard with Rosie Sheehy, Trieve Blackwood-Cambridge & Charles Reston all bringing their different characters to life and rising to the challenges that this potentially difficult script pose.

Having said all that I did sometimes struggle to believe that this motley bunch would ever have become friends and that those characters would have made certain choices. However, this was a play that always kept you interested and deserves to be seen. And luckily for you all it runs until Saturday 6th May.

Reviewed by: David Cox

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