Scattered

When their estranged father dies, twins Nicky and Jake reunite to execute his will. The unexpected arrival of Sam, a half-brother they never knew they had, forces them to question their relationship as the three new-found siblings patch over domestic scars, creating new ones in the process.

Scattered is a confident debut show from a company that is full of promise; a blackly comic if occasionally frustrating ride through the murky labyrinth of family secrets and blood ties.

Scattered is the debut production of young company Triptych Theatre: it is fast, frequently funny and, whilst it fails to move, it accomplishes exactly what it sets out to do. That is, to create a vivid snapshot of a broken family in mourning whilst telling a quietly engaging story in the process. Devised and written by the company, the dialogue between the trio is quick, light on its feet and unafraid of injecting a dark humour into the reality of the grieving process – it becomes apparent that their father has left somewhat unorthodox instructions regarding the scattering of his ashes and there are many laugh out loud moments to be had as a consequence. Tim Sandifer directs with a confident economy: the space is simple but well used and we remain interested throughout.

The piece loses its way towards its final scenes – the relationships between the characters never really develop and, as a result, the plot devices become either more outlandish or are forgotten about. Scenes are foreshadowed but never shown and in their place is a frustratingly unconvincing denouement that lurches from farce to shock in a way that seems at odds with the otherwise charming blend of humour and drama.

Despite this, the cast remain impressive throughout. The tension between Michael Parker’s Jake and Benny Ainsworth’s Sam crackles from start to finish, the two constantly at loggerheads over who is fit to inherit the position of family patriarch. Sally Paffett shines as Nicky, the frequently patronised ‘little sister’ who nevertheless often has to hold everything together.

Scattered is a confident debut show from a company that is full of promise; a blackly comic if occasionally frustrating ride through the murky labyrinth of family secrets and blood ties.

Reviews by Sam Forbes

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The Blurb

In the wake of their father’s death, twins Jake and Nicky are reunited as executors of his will. But the arrival of an unwanted guest sets in motion a downward spiral that will test their relationship to the limits. Dark comedy with a twist, exploring the nature of a family ripped apart and patched back together. A tale of death, forbidden love and revenge to make you laugh, cry, and recoil in your seat. What happens when you peer through the window of domestic life and find the family you thought you knew stripped of illusion?

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