Theatre in Wales

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Is she really there at all?

At Theatr Clwyd

Black Mountain , Theatr Clwyd , July 26, 2017
At Theatr Clwyd by Black Mountain The second play in the Roundabout is a psychological thriller in which Paul and Rebecca go for a country break in a lonely house to try to heal the rift caused by Paul having a fling.
But what is Helen, the woman he had the fling with, doing there, indeed, is she really there at all?

The days pass and both Rebecca and Helen try to get Paul to face up to the enormity of his betrayal. But betrayal of whom? And why do nature and household objects seem to be ganging up on him?

Hasan Dixon does a very good job of showing Paul's physical and mental disintegration. Katie Elin-Salt is a little too one-note as Rebecca but she does excellent enigmatic looks. Sally Messham's job is to manifest Helen suddenly at suitably jumpy moments which she does effectively, especially towards the climax.

James Grieve's direction is largely a matter of circling his cast around the acting area and co-ordinating sudden jumps in sound and equally sudden changes of lighting.

The denouement is fairly predictable, particularly for those of us with memories long enough to remember a classic 1950s French film thriller and its relationships.

I enjoyed the ride but I don't think Brad Birch's play has the legs to become a long-term theatrical chiller.

Reviewed by: Victor Hallett

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