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Lowkey Dying – Omnibus Theatre, London

Reviewer: Scott Matthewman

Writer: Heather O’Sullivan

Director: Lauren O’Leary

In Heather O’Sullivan’s solo play, the writer plays a woman who has a job as a dental receptionist – an undemanding role that nevertheless gives her satisfaction. At least, she says it does – sometimes, when she needs to find supplies in the store cupboard, she pretends she can’t find them to have some time to herself.

There is a sense from the off that O’Sullivan is an unreliable narrator – as she describes her work colleagues with derogatory nicknames, she claims she didn’t make any of the names up. Only later, when confronted with an act of kindness from someone she’s been denigrating, is she told that she is the only one who uses such names.

Coming through also is a sense of a character who, despite working in an environment with many work colleagues and members of the public, is personally isolated. But although that is present, O’Sullivan’s obvious enjoyment in her observations about her supporting characters means that her central character sometimes loses the necessary focus to make that theme as strong as it needs to be.

Thankfully, all the characters O’Sullivan conjures up make up for an enjoyable array of personalities, and signal that as both writer and performer, she is someone to watch.

Director Lauren O’Leary utilises the full, but limited, space of the Omnibus Theatre’s upstairs stage. Unfortunately, on a number of occasions, O’Sullivan sits on the floor or crawls under a desk – moves that, while being in character, render her invisible to any but the first couple of rows of seating.

That feeds into a production that, while enjoyable and providing a real sense of promise from O’Sullivan, is never quite as entertaining as it could be.

Continues until 27 November 2022

The Reviews Hub Score

Promisingly enjoyable

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The Reviews Hub - London

The Reviews Hub London is under the acting editorship of Richard Maguire. 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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