Writer: Oliver Eagleton
Director: Nora Kelly Lester
Reviewer: Deborah Klayman
“From each according to his ability, to each according to his need”.
This phrase, made popular by Marx, offers a fitting title for this one-act play about two characters in conflict due to their romantic and political needs. Penned by emerging playwright Oliver Eagleton and directed by Nora Kelly Lester, this piece of new writing is cleverly written and staged, and poses some interesting questions.
The plot follows the gradually intertwining lives of confirmed bachelor Nick (Michael-David McKiernan) and militant Marxist Cass (Hannah Tucker Mamalis). While both are less than up front about their intentions at the start, a genuine bond begins to develop between them, leaving them ultimately doubting where they came from and what the future holds.
The characters are well drawn and the style of the piece dynamic, with both McKiernan and Mamalis endearing themselves to the audience and commanding the intimate space. The lengthy sections of socialist rhetoric Mamalis’ Cass spouts throughout is impressively retained and regurgitated, while McKiernan is wonderfully conflicted and awkward as Nick.
An almost anti-romance by a clearly intelligent writer, the only pity was that the play was not a little longer and did not come to a more satisfying close. The time and space given to the opening of the piece was exactly right, but the end felt somewhat rushed and the conclusion unclear. That said, with this as their first theatrical outing, Reds Theatre Company have made a strong start that they will doubtless build on in the months and years to come.
Who thought socialism could be sexy?
Runs until 25th Aug