Playing With Snails: A Bike Shed Review…

Razz writer, Clara Plackett gives her thoughts on the latest from the Bike Shed…

A packed theatre with a great atmosphere and quite a number of enthusiastic young people, the world premiere of Peter Kesterton’s play at The Bike Shed seemed set for success before it had even begun.

Though the play deals with a very dark subject matter, Kesterton’s decision to focus on life after an horrific event meant that play was more than simply disturbing.  The collective sympathy felt towards the child’s father after the loss of his three year old daughter was to be expected, but the unlikely encounter and eventual partnership between him and the child’s murderer, Caitlin (only ten when she committed her act of ‘pure evil’), managed to reveal some startling parallels between the two characters as their relationship evolved.

The play also raised some very difficult questions; how far anyone can ever really forgive or feel forgiven in such circumstances, and how far all the answers behind such an event can ever really help at all? The obscure relationship could not have been carried out much more perfectly by the only actors on stage, Charlie Coldfield and Chloe Whipple, who never failed to lose momentum and ensured an engaging performance from start to finish.

The play was also far from devoid of humour, and whilst an element of tragedy ran throughout, most members of the audience had a good laugh in places, especially at the thought of a psychiatrist encouraging his patient to apologise to three cushions individually, and then give them all hugs.

Another level was added to the play by the exploration of the effects of tabloid journalism on peoples’ lives in such challenging times, and some very fitting digs were made.  The set also reflected this in the second half of the play, and was generally very impressive and highly effective in both halves, especially for such a small theatre.  The ending was predictably unhappy, but still shocking and exciting, and so I really enjoyed this experience of contemporary theatre in such a charming and quirky venue, and would thoroughly recommend it to you all.

Photo - Rob Darch

‘Playing With Snails’ 

when 10th – 25th February
at 7.30pm
where The Bike Shed Theatre

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