Sandcastles tells the disparate story of two women whose lives have been intertwined when they begin to pull apart, and how that manifests in each other’s unique experience, touching on aspects of upbringing, and outlook. While Beth is inventive, quick to take action and an unashamed, perhaps even selfishly free soul, Hannah is the opposite.
When Beth moves from Scotland to New York, her oldest friend Hannah isn’t happy. The pair’s lives go in vastly different directions and it undercuts the vast differences in both their outlooks and their personalities.
The issue with Sandcastles is that, despite the story having some appreciable and accurate portrayals of the dynamics between the two women, the actual narrative is too vague to catch hold of in a meaningful way. This is compounded as the various scenes that jump around in time, and in and out of reality into subjective imagination, are hard to follow, and worse, at times repetitive and a little dull. There’s just not enough to get hold of with the two characters to really care about them, or their relationship.
The piece is inventive enough in the simple staging. The paper-filled sandpit does a good job of exemplifying the titular and thematic briefness of existence around which the narrative comments, it’s just a shame the whole can’t build itself into something more meaningful for the main thrust of the play, only really finding its core towards the end.
Reviewer: Graeme Strachan