A Study on the Stillness of Love

This is a show with an ambitious script, which shows real emotional intelligence. The language is consistently beautiful, rhythmic and sensuous, using the art of spoken word in interesting ways.

This is an astonishing achievement: a clever, deep and engrossing play, which looks at the loss of childhood innocence

As such, the characters - a brother and sister - are a bit difficult to get a grasp on. They are not convincing as children (what child says “enunciate”?). Yet they represent children convincingly enough through their descriptions of the way they see the world, combined with effective movement sequences.

There are moments of real insight into the human consciousness, which is what playwright Andre Neely is trying to achieve. Why do we love? Why does life feel so hard sometimes? These are just some of the questions considered. There are fleeting moments of real beauty, yet at other moments it drags. The problem with using vague and metaphorical language is that it often becomes whimsical and loses the audience. When it doesn’t work, it feels selfish and pitiable; when it does work it expresses real universal truth. For example: “We all want love but we don’t want to be responsible for each other’s happiness” shows impressive emotional understanding.

The performances are consistently strong, with both actors taking on grisly material with confidence and sensitivity. They always address us, which feels both intimate and, at times, uncomfortable, forcing us to understand their suffering.

Towards the end the point becomes a little laboured and the language occasionally lapses into cliché. Nevertheless, this is still an astonishing achievement: a clever, deep and engrossing play, which looks at the loss of childhood innocence. 

Reviews by Marni Appleton

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The Blurb

The UK premiere of Andre Neely’s haunting, brilliant new play. A story about two siblings who go through a traumatic event in their childhood, and how they spend their teenage years regretting, mourning, and silently tormenting themselves because of it. They are both haunted by the person they love/hate. This is a play about innocence taken away, secrets that can never be told, and illusions that eventually break.