Frozen

Bryony Lavery

Living Pictures Productions

Sherman Cymru, Cardiff

(2009)

Review by Allison Vale

Sita Calvert-Ennals is one of three emerging directors to have been mentored this year by Living Pictures Productions' acclaimed directors training initiative. Staged as part of the Sherman's Directors Week, Frozen certainly marks out Calvert-Ennals as talent worth nurturing.

Bryony Lavery's play is a harrowing examination of the kidnap, assault and murder of an 11 year old girl through the eyes of her grieving mother, her killer and a criminal psychologist. It's dark stuff that reaches deep into the human psyche; an ambitious choice for an emerging director. But Calvert-Ennals treats this three-hander with the uncluttered simplicity it needs, laying bare the characters and letting Lavery's characteristic humour come to the fore, rather than dousing the stage in high-octane emotion from the start. And Adrienne O'Sullivan's portrayal of the moment Nancy handles her daughter's remains is all the more devastating for this light touch.

Richard Corgan and Jennifer Lee Jellicorse complete the strong cast for this affecting and memorable production.