Theatre in Wales

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Róisin McBrinn's direction keeps it all moving

At Theatr Clwyd

Theatr Clwyd and Clean Break - Thick As Thieves , Theatr Clwyd , October 23, 2018
At Theatr Clwyd by Theatr Clwyd and Clean Break - Thick As Thieves Sisters can drift apart in adulthood but the two in this play are so far apart that there could be an ocean between them. Karen and Gail grew up together in care but after a devastating event they haven't seen each other in years.

Gail can't hold down a job, nor hold onto her sons, nor hold onto a man, nor keep appointments important for her future.

Karen has a family and an important post in Social Services. And her own office. Into which Gail bursts unannounced one day hoping for Karen's help.

Things do not go well. Gail's aggressive attitude doesn't help. But then neither does Karen's intransigence towards her unwanted sister.

I found myself swaying between Siwan Morris' posh Karen and Polly Frame's forthright Gail as the two battle it out around the desk.

Suddenly the audience becomes conscious that the floor of the raised acting area is shifting under the actors' feet as the argument moves to and fro between them. This aspect of Alyson Cummins' set is genuinely un-nerving.

Róisin McBrinn's direction keeps it all moving with the two performers playing Katherine Chandler's words like a fast moving ping-pong game.

I admit I had rather expected a gloomy, and somewhat heavy piece of polemic theatre. It isn't, it's a fast, emotional and thoughtful piece of powerfully acted theatre.

Reviewed by: Victor Hallett

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