Under Electric Candlelight

I’ll settle for the company’s own description of Under Electric Candlelight as an ‘existential tragicomedy’, but dont worry about interpreting that. All you need to know is that it’s quite simply a stunning piece of theatre with the added bonus of music courtesy of The Kinks.

a stunning piece of theatre... a triumph for all concerned

The story is straightforward and the play is constructed around a series of scenes in various locations. A young nurse, referred to as just Stranger, is traumatised after dealing with a particularly gruesome death in A&E. Two people become involved as he tries to come to terms with his life: his brother Damien, with whom he has a somewhat strained relationship, and Lola, a blunt and brutally logical middle-aged woman with whom he forms a strong bond and who struggles to help him find a reason to stay alive.

Will Pattle (Stranger), dominates from his first entrance, as he crosses the stage dressed in bloodsoaked scrubs to stand on the table from where he seemingly looks down on the tragedy that has occurred. His delivery is sharp and the clarity of his voice remains steadfast even as he trembles with emotion, rethinks his words and muses on the nature of death. His words are absorbing and his presence captivating set against a predominantly black canvas enhanced by sound, lighting and projection design courtesy of JLA Productions.

Emma Wright (Lola), is the perfect match for him. With comparable vocal qualities her Lola is assertive and confident to the point of being brash. Unlike Stranger, she knows her mind and is not afraid to challenge those around her while remaining supportive. Of similar temperament, though perhaps less helpful, Tom Isted’s Damien is self-assured, down-to-earth and earnest, again with refreshing clarity of delivery. Isted also doubles the waiter. It’s a short scene, but for those familiar with Juie Walters serving two soups the similarity is unmistakeable, but I'm assured unintentional; it certainly it provides a moment of comedy and light relief in this otherwise delightfully dark play.

The cast are all assisted in their outstanding performances by the quality of the writing achieved by co-writers Alice Briganti and Will Pattle (Stranger). The conversations and monologues are natural and flow with pace and rhythm. The language is everyday, but imbued with similes and metaphors that cater for the imagination and at times make it visual. The sensitive yet bold direction by Luke Adamson (Artistic Director of The Bridge House Theatre) has clearly enabled them to work together effectively and sympathetically

The end result of this this co-production in collaboration with OVO Theatre is a triumph for all concerned.

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Performances

Location

The Blurb

By Alice Briganti and Will Pattle
Directed by Luke Adamson
Produced by OVO and The Bridge House Theatre

Dark, funny and featuring the music of the Kinks, Under Electric Candlelight is an existential tragicomedy following an unnamed young nurse who is traumatised after dealing with a particularly gruesome death in A&E. He forms a strong bond with a blunt and brutally logical middle-aged woman called ‘Lola’ who struggles to help him find a reason to stay alive.

Will Pattle is a London-born actor, writer, rapper and graduate of the BRIT school. He has acted in film, TV and theatre and in many OVO productions at The Maltings Theatre and The Roman Theatre.
Alice Briganti is a writer from Florence, Italy. She recently completed her MA in Shakespeare Studies at Goldsmiths. She co-wrote her debut play, The Removal Service, with Will Pattle.
Luke Adamson is the Artistic Director of The Bridge House Theatre and an award nominated actor, writer and director.

Press on Pattle & Briganti's previous play The Removal Service
A remarkable piece of writing", "Much of the success of the staging is due to Luke Adamson’s direction"
LondonTheatre1 
Promising new writing” The Stage

Contains very strong language, adult themes and content that some may find upsetting.

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