Sunday, 2 February 2020

Review: tube

Hey readers!
It's time for my review of tube.
Tube follows two strangers who sit next to each other in an empty carriage when their train stops in a tunnel and doesn’t move again. It explores their relationship in this less than ideal situation, as they find comfort and strain in each other. This unique piece gives you an honest look into the emotional and physical impact people can have on each other, and the lengths they will go to for the ones they love.

The concept of tube is an intriguing one, and unlike anything I have seen in quite some time. The piece is very unique, skilfully blending reality with the surreal. The story is extremely layered, with dozens upon dozens of hidden meanings and metaphors throughout. Large portions of the play are purely symbolic, and I am sure that different audience members will draw different interpretations from its narrative. The most impactful message from the play however was, arguably, the examination of compassion within today's society. Approximately half-way through the play, 'The Man' momentarily departs from the scene around him and directly addresses the audience. He criticises and condemns the way in which mankind are obsessed with smart-phones, and goes on to say that this has caused a universal decrease in human empathy. There may a lot of truth to this belief, and the way in which the matter was addressed was rather effective. The ending of tube was also rather impactful, and proved both shocking and unexpected. Whilst it does feel sudden, it works quite well and could be interpreted in a number of ways.

The two characters featured in tube, named 'Rachel' and 'The Man', were both extremely compelling. The play attempts to condense all the stages of a life-long relationship, both good and bad, into a story which spans only a few days, and uses these characters as a vehicle to do so. As a result, an interesting dynamic between these two characters was crafted out, and there was really strong character development as the play went on. Despite having one or two flaws, both characters proved likeable, and I felt myself rooting for them.

The direction, by Bobby Standley, was also strong. Despite the fact that there were frequent changes in relation to reality and the surreal, as well as the emotional state of the piece, each scene flowed well into the next. In addition to this, I also admired the decision to include music within the piece. Throughout the show, 'The Man' delivers a number of live musical performances, which I felt proved beneficial in breaking the dialogue up. Recorded music is also used in some places, which also worked well.

The two cast members, Michaela Carberry and George Damms, worked exceptionally together and bounced off another well. They had excellent chemistry, and complimented each other's talents nicely. Carberry was highly believable as Rachel, and showed versatility throughout. She masterfully demonstrated the wide range of different emotions that Rachel undergoes, and gave a well and truly outstanding performance. Damms was also remarkable, and brought a lot of energy to the stage. The highlight of his performance comes with his monologue to the audience, during which he was filled with fire and passion throughout.

Now for my final verdict on tube. I give tube...

Tube was a unique piece of theatre, and I admired its ambitiousness as well as its creativity. In addition to this, the two leading performances were both excellent.

Think it should have got a higher rating? Agree with my rating? Think it should have got a lower rating? If so comment below.

Thanks for reading!

-The Basic Theatre Reviewer

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