Newcastle Alphabetti Theatre
Until Saturday 16th September 2017
Written by Arabella Arnott
Directed by Matt Jamie
Designed by Alison Ashton
Arabella Arnott’s Overdueis an emotional trip that confronts some of the aspects of the human condition without going down the finger wagging “issue-based” route. A strong cast and intelligent writing have produced a powerful yet still entertaining drama which looks at the consequences of decisions.
We had marked Arabella’s cards as one to watch after Life After appeared earlier in the year. Overdue shows a maturity in its handling of possibly controversial decisions without casting any judgement. The audience finds themselves recognising the characterisation without being asked to discriminate between good and bad.
Rosie Stancliffe is able to show a perceptive range of emotions as Beth, a wife who needs space. Unfortunately for her, John, her husband, responds by closing in and emotionally suffocating her. Teacher Beth might go for walks during her summer holiday but John keeps sending her regular texts. Christopher Price plays the confused husband who doesn’t understand why he keeps getting pushed away. The pair of actors are convincing as a couple that obviously love each other but are not behaving like they’re reading off the same page.
Beth meets up with a couple of characters on her walks. There is the young teen mum Izzie who nurtures her 3 month old son. Skyla Pearce makes her professional debut and she got a number of reactions out of the audience as she invaded Beth’s personal space. Shortly afterwards Jack, played by Benjamin Michael Smith, appears and seems to easily makes friends with Beth. He is aware of Izzie and this freaks Beth out a little bit.
|Benjamin Michael Smith|
The play then follows Beth as she looks at both her current situation and the decisions that she was expected to make in the past. Rosie Stancliffe manages to elicit empathy as the sometimes awkward wife. Both Benjamin Michael Smith and Skyla Pearce make promising debuts and they had there chance to make an impact of the story. Christopher Price’s John was a natural foil for the prickly Beth.
The show’s setting in the centre of the re-located Alphabetti Theatre was intimate and enabled Arnott’s play to flourish. The tiered seating ensured a good view of the action for all. This is a great production to launch Newcastle’s newest venue.
Review by Stephen Oliver.
Overdue is at Newcastle’s Alphabetti Theatre from Monday 4 to Saturday 16 September 2017 and is suitable for 13+. Tickets are £9 full price; £7 concessions with Pay What You Decide performances on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Tickets: https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/event/194686
Overdue is also at George Street Social (Newcastle) on Monday 11 September and tickets are £5. For more information or to book tickets visit www.coracleproductions.com