Three Surreal Playlets Explore Love And Death
Londonist Rating: ★★★☆☆
You'll be Sorry When I'm Gone is a collection of three short plays written by Simon Vickery and directed by his brother Matt at the Bread and Roses Theatre. While the plays differ in tone, they all deal with death, love and loss. If this sounds heavy — don't worry — the subjects are dealt with in such an absurd and surreal way that there are more laughs than tears. Black humour is latent throughout and there's a nothing-off-the-table approach to talking about misery that is surprisingly fun.
The first play — The One We Loved — is the weaker of the three, a farce that throws four improbable figures together. It doesn't quite manage to wind the tension tight enough and while the dialogue is engaging we never get to a point of climax and release that feels truly rewarding. It's reminiscent of an episode of Peep Show and reaches truly awful levels of uncomfortableness but despite good characterisation, it feels laboured.
The evening gets stronger as it progresses. The second play — Tony's Death — sees the actors in roles that feel more suitable. Ashleigh Robson is especially convincing as a foul mouthed teenager. The play explores taboos around transvestitism and there is more assured and poetic writing.
The last play — Everybody Has A Price — is the strongest. It depicts a world that is Pinter-esque with a touch of Monty Python, of rules and systems where a man is put to death without understanding why or how he has fallen into this situation. Lizzie Corscaden is superb playing an office worker who has seen it all before and is just doing her job in the face of Mike Clarke's impassioned helplessness. Edward Cherrie, manages to do a lot, despite the fact he is hidden behind a mask.
Simple devices link these stories together which means it feels like a complete production rather than three disparate elements and new company Third Chair prove to be a something special. And while various venues have closed their doors across the capital in recent months, The Bread and Roses Theatre, which opened in November, offers a much-needed space for experimentation and new work. While it is a small space, the minimal set, costumes and props here allow the language to take centre stage.
You'll Be Sorry When I'm Gone runs at the The Bread and Roses Theatre until 11 July. Tickets £8
By Edward Gosling
Last Updated 08 July 2015