Andrew Bovell’s Speaking in Tongues has been artfully rendered by director Matt Barton and producer; Carys Atkinson. This play explores human nature, relationships, the ability to love and be loved, as well as the sanctity of marriage and the consequences of its breach. In this story, Bovell paints an emotional landscape using four actors and nine characters. He explores the rights and wrongs of emotional conduct through various interconnected stories which create a polyphony of voices which only ask to be loved.
The first act provided the first of many heart stopping moments as Bovell explores deeper and deeper into the human condition. As an audience, one is pulled into a series of complex relationships which are illuminated masterfully by the cast whose dedication to the parts can be seen in the faithful rendition of Bovell’s characters. While I don’t want to give any of the plot away, the characters are all face the problem of love; they all need love and act in ways which lead to devastating consequences.
The true magnificence of this play was the stagecraft. Lighting in this production has allowed one to see into the worlds of reality and fantasy, into dreams, bedrooms and deathbeds. The structure of the play is difficult and the story seemingly choppy, however the direction of Matt Barton has led to a performance of perfect clarity and purpose. The use of space within the theatre is imaginative and makes the most of a space which may not be around for too much longer (#savethearts); again Barton’s direction has led to divisive use of space in order to create an inner world where we are privy to see for only a short while.
This play is one not too be missed, Bovell’s plays are enticing, exciting and forces one to obverse the ugly world around them more clearly. Everyone has their own worlds and Bovell continues to show that to us.
Staring these babes: Georgia-Cate Westcott, Patrick Hassall, Holly Johnson, and Ben McCarthy.