Gazing At A Distant Star

Greenwich Theatre studio’s world premiere of Sian Rowland’s intimate three-hander about the effects of a sudden disappearance on those left behind made for an almost faultless evening thanks to fine writing, pitch-perfect performances by Harpal Hayer, Victoria Porter and Serin Ibrahim, taut direction by James Haddrell and the intimacy of the space itself. Hayer neatly conveyed the grief, anger and resignation of a call-centre slave who loses a cherished pal to secret alcohol abuse, Porter was magnificent as a mum learning her teenage son had become a suicide-bomber and Ibrahim brilliantly captured the furious confusion caused by her sister’s decision to vanish without trace to escape a control-freak husband. Rowland’s play throbs with humanity, balancing despair with wit and intelligence while steering clear of sentimentality or cliché. But words are nothing without a voice – and given that the cast had only two weeks of rehearsals, it was remarkable that they created an atmosphere of such power and beauty in so short a time.

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