Review: Sense by Anja Hilling at Southwark Playhouse

By clairecooke Last edited 107 months ago
Review: Sense by Anja Hilling at Southwark Playhouse

Sense is five plays exploring a group of loosely associated Berlin teenagers over one summer. Experimenting with the spaces of the Southwark Playhouse these are intense works delicately depicting the profound angst experienced at the cusp of becoming an adult; each grounded in differing method of human perception and opening up a ground swell of smart dialogue and unique characters.

With five different directors too, this made for quite a long night of theatre; written originally to be performed in schools and work as self contained pieces we appreciated the - on the whole - considered performances and imagination that went into staging (i.e. using stretched cling film to represent the surface tension of a swimming pool; painting an expressionist backdrop in a 'call and response' to one character - Phoebe's - musings on herself).

What seemed to transpire in 3 of these two hander plays was one character's fascination for the unknown as personified by their partner in the scene. Having a confessed prejudice for - either - blindness / disability (Eyes), race / foreignness (Tongue) and self harm / paranoia (Skin) an enquiring, confessional diatribe followed. Whilst not denying the 'other' a voice or sceptical reading of the 'normal' world view this frank exploration of prejudice was most prominent in Beate's will she / won't she sleep with Laurent whose origins laid in the Cape Verde Islands.

Produced by Company of Angels in association with the Drama Centre, Sense was also a chance to see some great actors of the future, in particular Katie West's ice cream sundae Phoebe, Orlando James' acutely perfect prefect and especially Alice May Low and Martina Horrigan as two lonely young women caught in process of using radically different ways to deal with their mental isolation.

Last Updated 03 May 2009