DramaReviewSouth West

Fissure – Exeter Phoenix

Writer: Hattie Collins

Director: Hattie Collins

Sound and Music: Santiago Frew

Reviewer: Margarita Shivarova

A production set in the context of an imaginary future, but not one far away from what an exaggerated reality of today’s world would look like. The opportunities and drawbacks of technological advancement versus the alternative views of how rising population on a finite planet should be managed. All of this and more universally recognised motives and questions are brought up in a well-crafted story of a couple.

Hazel (Rachel Crozier), a medicine student, and Archer (Jordan Ashton), a space shuttle engineer walk the audience through the story of how they meet, fall in love, grow, progress, achieve, fall down, get up and face the difficulties of learning tolerance before personal views. The actors manage well to communicate the range of emotions from shyness to anger, through tears and affection with very little help from the set. Imagining the situations throughout the play is easily supported not only by the script, but the physicality involved. The constant movement by the actors could sometimes be distractive, yet it has a huge impact on telling the story of a lifelong relationship. The motive of love finding a way to survive and ultimately bring people joy even when they purposefully hurt each other in defense proves the point that love is greater than any idea. This is beautifully portrayed in the patchy reunion between Hazel and Archer after they realise there is a baby on its way.

With its modern language, the script makes up for the faster pace through punchy lines having the effect of poetry based on the whirl of the trivial everyday life. It also offers deeper content in the moments of stillness that easily communicates how the characters feel. The visual and sound effects reminding of a shuttle launch come hand in hand with the development of the story.

From a holistic point of view, the play rests on relevant examples of the extreme arguments for and against technology and space traveling. Within this context it subtly manages to shift the focus and trim it down to the individual, personal, everyday moments, leaving the heavy debates of what is right or wrong behind and thus providing a more relatable experience for the audience.

Runs until: 6th May 2019 | Image: Contributed 

Review Overview

The Reviews Hub Score

Dynamic and touching

The Reviews Hub - South West

The Southwest team is under the editorship of Holly Spanner. The Reviews Hub was set up in 2007. Our mission is to provide the most in-depth, nationwide arts coverage online.

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