DramaLondonReview

Rapture – Pleasance, London

Reviewer: Andrew Houghton

Writer and Director: Sophie Leydon

Rapture is the debut production of Pink Sky Theatre, a collective of LGBTQIA+ artists. The production thrives in its representation of community and the notion of ‘chosen family’ that many queer people cultivate. The piece follows flatmates Kit, Rosy and Tommy navigating their individual and interwoven lives; and seeking solace in each other from their respective past traumas.

Kit and Rosy have been in an open ‘lesbian’ relationship, theoretically, for the last four years and appear very content, but worry they may have fallen into a monogamous rut. Furthermore, is the term ‘lesbian’ now a misnomer since Kit came out as non-binary? Meanwhile, Tommy runs a bar and seems to be a carefree bachelor living his best life… but are things ever that simple?

One of Rapture’s greatest strengths is the sense of community within the piece and this, naturally, is thanks to the clear collaboration between the writer/director, Sophie Leydon, and her cast: Sam Crerar (Kit), Izzy Neish (Rosy), Bryan Moriarty (Tommy). The show kicks off with a fast-paced conversation featuring all three characters overlapping each other and it is a credit to the entire team that the sequence is coordinated and executed so smoothly.

There is an established history and dynamic between each possible pairing within the three flatmates and the cast works cohesively to create this sense of long-term camaraderie. Each actor also takes on a number of multi-role characters to establish the world beyond the trio. Slick direction allows for well-paced interactions and a consistent flow throughout the piece, whilst the thoughtful script sets up moments of real connection and poignancy.

The impressively tight first act does make way for a slightly looser second as the writing, and each character’s narrative, grows more tumultuous. The heart of the production remains intact, however, and the actors pack a punch with their powerful performances.

Crerar as Kit does a fantastically nuanced job as the most stoic of the group, whilst trying to keep their approaching past demons at bay. They also have some of the most entertaining multi-role characters and their performance as an obnoxious spoken-word artist is truly stand-out.

Neish is an incredibly likeable presence onstage and benefits from being part of the two most explored dynamics of the piece – Rosy’s long-term romantic connection with Kit and her friendship/employment with Tommy. Rosy is the passionate, dedicated friend we all need and when she is hurting, Neish makes the audience feel it like a gut punch.

Moriarty has one of the biggest arcs as Tommy, beginning the piece with such an easy energy. He is laid-back and playful, charismatic and cute – until a shocking hook-up shatters his confidence. Suddenly Tommy must face a difficult reality and seeing Moriarty tackle this beneath a thinning carefree facade is harrowing.

With Rapture, Pink Sky Theatre has delivered exciting queer theatre and makes a very strong first impression.

Runs until 17 July 2022

The Reviews Hub Score

Thoughtful and nuanced

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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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