DramaReviewSouth West

Mydidae – The Other Room, Cardiff

Writer: Jack Thorne

Director: Simon Reeves

Reviewer: Beth Steer

Following Marian and David, a couple in their thirties, as they spend an inordinate amount of time in their bathroom over the course of a single day, Jack Thorne’s Mydidae has the potential to awkwardly, and massively, miss the mark.

But, the excellent writing, brilliant direction, clever set, and flawless acting come together to create a true masterpiece – one that’ll leave you gawping, open-mouthed from about ten minutes in. 

The audience, as Mydidae – a type of short-lived, stinging insect – act as flies on the wall, watching the most intimate moments of a couple who, at first, appear to have an over-easy, unconsciously comfortable relationship. But, as the day draws on, the grief and guilt that swamp both characters swirls into a dramatic conclusion, and their darkest secrets and violent desires are unveiled with a scalding splash.

Isabella Marshall’s spiky, bright Marian is electric, sparking off of Matthew Raymond’s desperate, imploring David. The chemistry and brittle tension between the pair is hyper-realistic – uncomfortable to watch in the way that shocking, challenging theatre does best.

The simplicity of the staging – and the positioning of the audience as intruders in this most private of spaces – adds a dark depth to the scenes that unfold. The dramatic lighting, at times, plunging the audience into total darkness; snug and eerie in The Other Room’s tiny performance space makes the whole piece even more absorbing.

OtherLife are dedicated to creating work that ‘interrogates the contemporary experience and bridges the gap between entertainment and stirring, insightful drama’, and Mydidae does just that.

This production is an absolute must-see that violently challenges perceptions – especially your own – Mydidae will turn over in your mind a long time after the curtains close.

Reviewed on 24 May 2018 | Image Jack Willingham

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One Comment

  1. While the production was good in all respects, we left feeling that the play was slight, the themes unoriginal (at least to us older theatre goers), and the ending flat and weak. After the first 20 minutes, I never felt wholly engaged. Perhaps the nudity contributed, in that one is a little reluctant to stare at undressed strangers standing only a few feet away. But to remove this distraction would be to remove the only relatively original aspect of the play – its setting in a bathroom for the entire performance. 4 stars at a stretch, but nowhere near a 5 star evening for us.

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