Eclipse

It’s August 1999 and a group of Bristol teenagers have returned from a trip to Cornwall where they went to see an eclipse. An encounter in Cornwall with a new girl, Lucy Lime, has changed everything.

The cast of young performers from the Kings School do an excellent job and make a good effort delivering often tricky lines in a convincing way.

Klondike, Tulip, Glueboy, Midnight and the twins return home, trying to reconstruct what happened in the caves beneath the cliffs when the sun disappeared. They question each other, and agree to keep facts straight, although their recollections differ as to what happened before Lucy vanished without a trace.

Simon Armitage’s script is a long-form poem with heightened language and a rhythm that drives the dialogue. It uses flashbacks – presumably to a week earlier – in the retelling of events. Games are used to structure the narrative, which is intended to give us further insight into the characters and their status in the group, although I’m not convinced it works in all instances.

Though the performances can be inconsistent, the cast of young performers from the Kings School do an excellent job and make a good effort delivering often tricky lines in a convincing way. The two twins, in jumpsuits and matching red glasses, are particularly fun as they often finish each other’s sentences – this has added effect when it involves rhythm and rhyme. Midnight, the boy so-nicknamed for the dark glasses that cover his blind eyes (damaged by looking at the sun) is the most vulnerable of the group so it is with him that we sympathise most with at first.

This show didn’t quite come together for me. The set consists of black flats with lines of geometric LEDs and a cloth-covered aperture reminiscent of a pin-hole camera. I had expected these to be used in some way and was disappointed they weren’t – they looked as if they belonged to a different show. The burst of music and the flashing space-age lights between scenes feels unnecessary. Ultimately though, it was the script that didn’t take me to the place I wanted and the ambiguous ending was lacklustre.

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Performances

Location

The Blurb

A dynamic and transfixing play from one of Britain’s greatest living poets. Lucy Lime has disappeared and the police need answers, six friends need to work out the facts and solve the mystery of the Eclipse.

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