Writer &Director: Nicola Reynolds
Reviewer: Jacqui Onions
A Sunny Disposition is a powerful and emotional story of one man’s battle with addiction.
Meet Charlie (played by Neal McWilliams). He is a person that you will know. His background, his personality, the reasons he does the things he does are very easy to relate to and you will know someone just like him. He is that person that needs to be liked, needs to please others – the life and soul of the party – but he is on a self-destructive path of drink and drugs that is tearing his world apart.
Nicola Reynolds has created a well-rounded, likeable and engaging character in Charlie. Her writing of A Sunny Disposition stems from her own battles with addiction and this comes across, giving the play a natural and honest feel. It tackles a difficult topic with empathy and will make you question your own attitudes and opinions towards addicts and addiction.
McWilliams matches the honesty of the writing in his delivery of this monologue and has a wonderful ability to connect with an audience, making you feels as if he is talking directly to you. He is hugely skilful in conjuring the other characters in Charlie’s life, his partner and daughters, enabling the audience to feel a connection with them without ever seeing them on stage. Reynolds (who also directed the piece) and McWilliams are undoubtedly a winning combination.
The set puts the audience in mind of a bar – a fitting location for Charlie to tell his story – but the design by Amy Jane Cook is a little strange, with carpet not only on the floor but all the way up the walls.
The soundscape (by Matthew Jones) is subtle and, in fact, barely noticeable but very well designed to add to the tensions and emotions throughout the play.
This production of A Sunny Disposition provides an emotional performance of an honest and heartfelt piece of writing.
Runs until 14 May 2016 | Image: AennePallasca