SUSU Theatre Group

Annex Theatre, University of Southampton

AS a family gather for the father’s 60th birthday, months after the eldest daughter’s (Linda) suicide, a nasty family secret is revealed and the revelation begins to dissolve the pretence of paternal love and the family's bonds.

Director Joshua Harris has created a powerful adaption that was emotional and troubling with uncomfortable moments of black humour. These shifts in tone were handled with great precision and the show moved with a fluidity and pace that does full justice to the story.

The acting was focused and moving. From the opening moment, when we see the lone figure of Christian (Jordan Gardner) on stage, we feel his terrible isolation and the weight of the secret that he carries. Ian Bessant seemed almost self combusting as the volatile Michael, a maelstrom of emotions. Charlie Randall (Helge) was initially more aloof than monstrous, making his final outburst all the more effective.

Karen Robson