A+E

Lottie Finklaire’s new play A+E tells the story of three women waiting in the hospital to find out if their friend will ever wake from her coma. Her injuries are surrounded in mystery. Were they accidental or deliberate? And, if the latter, who is responsible?

The play’s the thing, and the cast’s professionalism is not enough to make these characters interesting.

This is a promising premise. Shame about the play. The best efforts of an able and talented young cast cannot lift this piece off the ground. The characters seem in a constant state of revelation. Every scene contains another grand and tedious metaphor for the human condition (people are like ants, Rubik’s cubes etc). Such monologues may be generously described as portentous but more accurately described as pretentious. We never see what brings these characters to their earth-shattering epiphanies. The dissatisfaction is taken as a given and as a result seems simply boring and lazy.

This is a shame, because the performances are strong. The cast is slick and their attention to detail is meticulous. Joel Reeves and Eugenie River have excellent chemistry together and their relationship is touching. A scene where she talks him down from (another) existential rant by singing a silly song is genuinely moving. Lilly Burton wonderfully chews scenery as she rollicks around with a ‘screw you’ attitude. Sarah Callow is compelling as the voice of reason in a world of madness and Finklaire herself is enjoyable as the neurotic and kooky Ava.

But, alas, the play’s the thing, and the cast’s professionalism is not enough to make these characters interesting. Discussing modern communication, one of them declares, ‘It’s all so messed up. We don’t talk anymore.’ If only.

Reviews by Rory Mackenzie

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★★

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Performances

Location

The Blurb

'Robyn fell, now we're here. That's the facts.' We all want to run away from something. At the end of a long party three girls wait in accident and emergency for answers, time ticking by and questions spilling out. Two people meet in a wasteland, sharing thoughts that no one else understands. One will fall in love, one will just fall. Or jump. Inspired by a true story from the suburbs of London, Hounded are proud to present A+E, a show about friendship, love and loss. Written by Lottie Finklaire, Directed by Gabrielle Sheppard, Designed by Sara Hjördís Blöndal.

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