It’s less than a year to go until TV screens will be fixed on the Olympics and Paralympics in Rio. Whilst Isley Lynn’s Tether fuels excitement for next summer, her script refreshingly brings with it an emphasis on the personal side to our hopefuls for the Games in 2016. Telling the story of Mark, a marathon runner failing to qualify for the London Games, training a blind runner, Becky, this ambitious production tests the mentalities of these athletes as well as our own.

This inspirational story reminds us of the extraordinary efforts disabled athletes go through.

Lee Drage (Mark) and Maisie Greenwood (Becky) bring great chemistry to their roles. Greenwood’s dry sense of humour and blunt tone gives life to a character that could be portrayed as harsh. It is her comic timing that manages to create hope throughout the plot. Lee Drage has the challenge of exhausting himself, both physically and emotionally, which he succeeds in admirably.

A plot about the progress of these marathon runners has the potential to become monotonous and focus solely on the training aspect. However, even when Tether considers the broad idea of how far a person can go before giving up on anything in life, Lynn’s poetic script never becomes pretentious when raising these issues. Elliot Griggs’ monotone lighting grounds the script and intelligently never over-dramatises the physical sequences. I only wish Jon McLeod’s sound design enriched the story further and that he took bolder moves in his use of volume and pitch.

This inspirational story reminds us of the extraordinary efforts disabled athletes go through. I hope the amount of love and respect we had for the Paralympians when watching them back in 2012 is resurrected thanks to Tether. With some richer audio and further character development, it could go on to win gold in the future. 

Reviews by Dan Parker

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The Blurb

When Mark doesn't qualify for the London 2012 Olympic Games, he becomes a guide for blind marathon runner Becky. But it's not easy being someone else's eyes, or giving up your dreams for theirs... A powerful story of ambition, trust, friendship and the fight to the finish line from Royal Court Young Writers' Programme graduate Isley Lynn. This striking new play asks challenging questions: What do you do when your dreams don't come true? How long should you hold out hope? Can you truly be happy helping others to succeed? And what if giving in doesn't mean giving up?