Writer: Alan Harris
Director: Liz Stevenson
Reviewer: Jacqui Onions
How My Light Is Spent is a quirky take on what is essentially a story of everyday lives and loves. Jimmy (Rhodri Meilir) and Kitty (Alexandra Riley) first cross paths when he calls the sex line that she works for. From there, we follow the downturns in their lives and their impact on each other, with one unusual twist – Jimmy is slowly disappearing.
Writer, Alan Harris, takes an interesting approach to conveying his story to the audience, switching between third person narrative and the first person portrayal of the characters. It is a slightly unusual structure for a play, which works in its favour to hold the attention of the audience and sustain interest. It does, however, feel a little like a style more suited to engaging younger or family audiences. Couple this with the major plot point that Jimmy thinks he is becoming invisible and juxtapose it against sex workers and masturbation and we are left in a no man’s land between adult themes and a story with wider appeal.
The two actors not only play the main roles, but narrate the story as well and play all of the secondary characters encountered along the way. They are both highly engaging storytellers and deliver Harris’ immensely funny writing to great comedic effect. Meilir switches between characters with ease, bringing a distinct voice and personality to each. Some of Riley’s characters are less distinct, particularly the difference between Kitty and Jimmy’s daughter, but she still gives a strong performance.
The set comprises of nothing more than a paved platform, with the audience sitting on either side. This is the perfect blank canvas for the storytelling to shine through, allowing the imagination to fully take over, and is complimented by the soundscape (Giles Thomas) and lighting design (Joshua Pharo). Both the sound and lighting have a beautiful flow to them that blends seamlessly with the spoken word to enhance the images conjured in the audience’s minds.
How My Light Is Spent may not have the edge that its adult themes and quirky ideas promise but it is an enjoyable play with plenty of laugh out loud moments and a heart-warming message.
Runs until 27 May 2017 | Image: Contributed