HighTide review: Mudlarks

Mudlarks, by Vickie Donoghue, High Tide Festival, Halesworth, May 13.

A CHUNK of concrete is dropped from a bridge onto a busy road.

Two of the perpetrators run away but the third gazes down on the scene below – transfixed by the sight of the smashed windscreen of the lorry embedded in the bridge and the bleeding body of the driver..

The three meet on a mud bank in the nearby estuary – a place frequented by the dregs of society.

There is a moment in Donoghue’s new play, set along the banks of the Thames Estuary, where all the action, all the energy and all the desperation of wasted lives comes to a head; one of the three young man has been stabbed and the others – one with low aspirations, the other on the brink of a bright new life – face an inevitable future.

You may also want to watch:

Then the playwright just blows it, taking the audience on a pointless journey of fantasy when we all know what the outcome will be. At the same time and almost from the hand of a completely new writer, the dialogue took a decidedly downward turn with a string of unconvincing lines such as from one of the youths saying of France: “I don’t speak the language and I don’t like garlic.”

This a great pity because, although dealing with a well-worn theme, this play really buzzed along and was full of slick, penetrating dialogue and action, aided by an imaginative set and superb lighting and sound.

Most Read

Director, Will Wrightson, had the actors plunging down steep slopes into a mudflat where, amidst of the flotsam and jetsam, sat a holed, decaying boat, a strong symbol of degeneration.

There were three great performances from the young actors playing three contrasting and very well-drawn characters adrift on the sea of under-privilege and false hope.

David Green

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter