Back to the drawing board

Tu I Teraz by Nicola Werenowska, Pulse Festival, Saturday June 5, Sir John Mills Theatre

This was again a rehearsed reading but unlike Taken Leave the director had done nothing to help the cast find a way of expressing the characters within this extremely turgid script.

Nicola is an artist supported by Escalator and the Mercury Theatre so I was expecting something innovative and exciting. It was billed as a Polish woman’s attempt to build a better life for herself and her son in the UK. There were four characters and some pointless flashbacks. We had conversations between the son and his mother, the son and his aunt, the aunt and her sister, the mother and her lover ( who was actually her ex husband) and so on and so on. Sometimes it was in Polish, sometimes broken English, sometimes well spoken English for no understandable reason.

But did we learn anything about the difficulties of life for Poles in the UK? Did we learn anything interesting about these four characters? Did we care about any of the characters? The answer is a resounding no. There was no dramatic tension, no plot twists, no highs and lows. I came away really concerned that this writer had no idea what she was trying to say with this play and that without plot or purpose it would be best to go back to the drawing board and start from scratch.

Suzanne Hawkes

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