Zero is the latest production from Just Talk Theatre Company, who brought the impressive Room to Joshua Brooks in September.  This time it’s the Eagle Inn in Salford, and it’s an original piece of writing from Robin Lyons.  This play looks at what happens to those left behind after a suicide, and the different reactions of brother Eddie and sister Helen.

Just Talk set their stall out, stating that ‘at the forefront of our work is the power of the unsaid‘.  Quite a challenge really, as I have seen many plays that try to do this and end up not saying anything.  But as I write this, I find that the play is as much in my head as it is on the stage, and I’m still thinking about the two main characters and the key issues.  It’s an engaging and thought provoking play.

Rosemary Terry and Dean Gregory create two very strong leads, developing their very different responses to the suicide with great skill and physicality.  The brother/sister dynamic, based on shared experience, is compelling.  External characters are effectively created through their stories and voices.  Sentimentality is avoided.  I’m not convinced by the introduction of third person Tim, who feels more plot device than fully formed character.  Nevertheless the direction of the narrative from then on is fascinating and builds well to the ending.

IMG_1327This is an intelligent play where the answers aren’t always obvious, and the audience have to work for the story.  For me, this is refreshing.  There were two ‘suicide’ plays at ‘Bridging the Gap’ in September and this is much better than either.  It’s well worth getting Google Maps out and walking the 5 or 10 minutes from Deansgate to the delightful Eagle Inn to see this play, which runs from 29 to 31 March 2016.

Theatre lover, amateur director, occasional actor, writer.

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