The Marked

Theatre Témoin

Pleasance Dome

From 05 August 2016 to 29 August 2016

Rating: *****

Review by Robin Strapp

The plight of the homeless and alcohol addiction are powerfully explored by Theatre Temoin’s The Marked, inspired by real stories of homelessness.

There is a clever fusion of face masks, puppetry and strong physical theatre together with a tightly-written script in this impressive production.

Set amongst wheelie bins, plastic rubbish sacks and pallets this is the home of Scouser Jack who has recurring nightmarish demons of his childhood as his alcoholic mother tries to bring him up but violence and abuse are his demons.

We see the ghostly figure of his mother drinking from the bottle in a recurring theme as we witness flashbacks to his childhood.

The masks and puppets, from giant emaciated creatures to frightening black bin men, are beautifully made. The pigeon is engaging, as is the puppet of the young Jack as he grows up with the horror of living with his mother.

Jack meets two other destitute travellers. Sophie is six months pregnant and her boyfriend Pete is a drug user.

This unlikely friendship gives Jack some strength and security, particularly from Sophie.

This is an emotional rollercoaster ride that pulls no punches, although there are touches of humour that are welcome relief.

The emotive soundscape adds much to the production and the use of slow motion is most effective.

The three cast members Dorrie Kinnear, Tom Stacy and Bradley Thompson give stellar performances in a moving, thought-provoking play.