Sparkling with witty dialogue and clever wordplay, Journos is a very enjoyable way to spend an hour. Following the lives of northern journalists struggling to keep the ‘Daily Parade’ afloat, Journos documents the trials and tribulations of their daily routine, mixing it up with some tragedy along the way. The strength of the script lies in the fast paced dialogue of the office scenes, which are a joy to watch, however when moving into darker territory the tone of the piece became confused, the script sometimes falling into obvious clichés. The writer, Adam Jordan Donaldson, shows real promise but the piece lacked emotional depth and a clear sense of plot.
The action opens on Gareth who has recently been put in charge of the office while the boss is away. As his fellow journalists wander into the office we learn of the various hierarchies in the workplace and meet Eve, the only female journalist. Eve can certainly hold her own in the office environment, or at least it appears she can, until certain intrigues are revealed and we witness her more vulnerable side. Well, we hope to. In reality Costanzo, playing Eve, didn’t quite manage to convince me that she cared. The writing lacked compassion and the emotional change required in Costanzo was not apparent. The first half ends on a similar note, with an emotionally stagnant depiction of what should be a very powerful and moving event.
The second half loses the banter of the first and takes on a more serious tone, a place where Donaldson’s writing is less confident. It was not clear which character to concentrate on or exactly whose story was being told, meaning concentration in the piece began to wander. The emotional investment of the characters in the ‘Daily Parade’ was not obvious and hence it could not be the driving force the piece required.
Without this driving force it was hard to maintain interest in the piece above and beyond the characters. The production itself was strong with great performances from a talented cast, slick scene changes and an imaginative set, however without a particular plot line to follow I found myself simply becoming disinterested.
Journos is a witty and clever piece of theatre from a company that shows real promise, with some work on Donaldson’s script Journos could really shine.