Writer: Jennifer Roslyn Wingate
Director: Laura Clifford
Reviewer: Stephen Bates
However far we roam, most of us can take with us the comfort of knowing that we have a home to return to. Not so 19-year-old Sam, the central character in this short debut play by Jennifer Roslyn Wingate, which is receiving its premiere here. Sam arrives at the door of his childhood home and all that he can hear from inside is a voice telling him to go away.
Entropy is a taut and visceral suspense thriller which plays on our fears of not belonging anywhere. The sole occupant of the house at which Sam arrives is his widowed stepmother, Barbara. When she finally opens the door to Sam, she alludes to his disgusting behaviour as a teenager; he retaliates by claiming horrific abuse as a seven-year-old to which Barbara turned a blind eye. She still disbelieves him. Their alienation seems total, but we sense that they have a need for each other and, beneath the surface, suggestions of sexual attraction are strong.
The quality of the acting transcends implausibility in the plotting. Lewis Bruniges’ agitated, unpredictable Sam could be damaged or simply dangerous. Katharine Drury’s nervous Barbara could be guilty or simply terrified. Their relationship could be avenger/victim, son/mother, or they could be past or future lovers. Roslyn Wingate’s writing thrives on ambiguities to build and sustain tension and she only goes off track with an ending which does not seem to fit with the play’s key themes.
Laura Clifford directs an edgy production, which showcases the work of an interesting young writer who seems to have a promising future.
Runs until 27 August 2018 | Image: Contributed