Distance At Park Theatre: Review

Distance, Park90, Park Theatre ★★★☆☆

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Distance At Park Theatre: Review Distance, Park90, Park Theatre 3
Distance at Park Theatre3
Photo: Richard Davenport

The statistics are grim: suicide remains the single biggest killer of men under 45 in the UK. Alex McSweeney’s new play, Distance, focuses on Steven, a recently divorced father, and explores the possible reasons behind this alarming trend. It’s an important, timely and noble project.

Distance at Park Theatre
Photo: Richard Davenport

Steven is reunited with an old friend, Alan, on a train journey to an academic conference, with flashbacks offering us an insight into his troubled family life, and his deteriorating mental health. An eerie soundtrack, projections and dynamic set design artfully summon up the emotional distance and isolation integrally related to depression.

Adam Burton gives a sensitive performance as Steven, his haunted facial expressions capturing the tortured psyche of a man sleep walking to doom. His emotional distress is counterpointed with some much needed comedy from Abdul Salis as Alan.

Distance at Park Theatre2
Photo: Richard Davenport

A frequently harrowing and intense 90 minutes, however, is marred by the uncomfortable sense that the source of Steven’s problems is rooted in the behaviour of his wife, Sonja (the excellent Lindsay Fraser), who in failing to understand him comes across as the villain of the piece. The real reasons behind this modern epidemic are far more complex.

Distance, Park90, Park Theatre, Clifton Terrace, Finsbury Park,  N4 3JP. Tickets £13 - £18, until 29 September 2018.

Last Updated 10 September 2018