Cubicle Four

Cubicle Four is comprised of a trio of duologues set in the eponymous hospital cubicle. The first deals with a man and his grandmother after she has broken her hip; the second features brothers with minor injuries after having escaped from an unsuccessful heist; the final part -which I found the most interesting - was the monologue of a woman visiting her paralysed, vegetative husband.

The relationships between each pair were clearly drawn - from the slightly reluctant student not particularly wanting to be stuck in hospital with his garrulous grandma, but still feeling responsible for her, to the two men who, despite not being blood-related, were as close as siblings.

However, despite the strong, sympathetic acting, the script was very weak. I often felt my attention wandering, the stories and scenarios not compelling enough to hold my concentration for the entire runtime. This was not the fault of the actors, who universally did their best with some quite banal material. In the second scenario, in particular, the pace was sluggish, the story never gathering enough momentum to actually become watchable. There were some nice moments between the brothers, the younger thanking the older for always being there to watch his back – but these were brief oases in what essentially was a desert of dullness.

The final part reached what can almost be described as a climax, as the wife went from talking about the TV licence to screaming in frustration at her effective widowhood for over a decade - unable to move on, as her husband is still breathing, but also unable to carry on with life as before. This could have been deeply moving, but instead came across as shouty. By the end, I felt as boxed in as the situation.

Reviews by Laura Francis

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The Blurb

A touching and often hilarious insight into the unique and deeply personal human stories witnessed only by the four walls of a cubicle in a busy A&E department in this award-winning new play.