theSpace @ Surgeons Hall
A stunning emotional journey of two men as they battle with their own identities, find love and find each other, Between is a captivating tale that draws you in to both guys as they discuss, debate and define where their lives are destined.
The beautiful play written by Oskar Brown is an engrossing insight into two gay men and how their relationship develops from school children with the twists and turns that puberty and lust create.
The story flits at speed between the battle with their sexuality as young kids to their life as lovers with a struggling sex life. This is interspersed with the young man portrayed by Nicholas Campbell receiving acting lessons for an audition in a Shakespeare play. The scenes in the latter category are by far the most intellectually interesting as far as dramatic and language devices are concerned. The repetition of Sonnet 23 "An Imperfect Actor on the Stage" speaks a thousand words as the vulnerable young man trips over every line and Brown's character pushes him to his limit.
This inspiring production is cleverly directed by Geoffrey Hyland using simple costume changes to differentiate each character and in turn depicting what time in the boy's lives they are recreating. The set is extremely simple with torn up pieces of blue paper laden with Shakespeare lines covering the floor and only a table, chair and umbrella as props. The piece certainly wouldn't benefit from any more set as it is flawless in its execution.
Both actors are extremely talented and are evidently very comfortable around each other on stage. Campbell's ability to turn a scene from one of joy and love to sadness and brutality is second to none and Brown's heart wrenching characterisation of a misunderstood guy who just wants to be loved draws many to tears.
This is a play that relates not only to the gay community but to everyone who knows what love and loss feel like. Between is a must see and cannot be commended highly enough.
Between runs until the 17th August at theSpace @ Surgeons Hall.
Reviewer: Liam Blain