Credit: Pallasca Photography
The Other Room presented Sarah Kane’s blasted with all the brutality and intensity that was to be expected. Even though it was quite a small room they didn’t play down the acting at all which created a wave of uneasiness throughout the audience; especially the people sat in the front row. However how can you play down getting your eyes eaten out? It was definitely not a light hearted theatre trip out on a Friday night, yet if you think you can stomach it, its definitely a performance you don’t want to miss.
Due to the language content and the actions presented in the play, I was apprehensive about watching this performance. However, the talent of the actors and the carefully thought out directing choices by Kate Wasserberg made it hard hitting yet done tastefully presented at the same time.
It was dark comedy at its finest and I doubt I’ll ever see another show like it. The one liners by Christian Patterson playing Ian were perfectly timed,so that the audience couldn’t help but burst out laughing but then feel guilty for doing so after. Christian played the character Ian remarkably well, making us loathe him at the start but then finding ourselves sympathising with him towards the end of the production. Louise Collins, playing Cate, is an incredible actress and the role of Cate showcased that exceptionally. Simon Nehan playing the solider provided a lot of humour as well, especially with his broad Welsh accent. The conversation between the soldier and Ian had a lot of great emotion that provided a lot of hard hitting stories of the soldiers past. The relationships between each character on stage was so strong and powerful all the time that it provided humanity when there was none. The love Ian and Cate had for each other despite the action brought real sadness to the piece, every time they hugged or kissed after a fight it was so believable that it was heart wrenching. All three actors showed bravery to take on these roles where other actors would have turned them down in a heartbeat. What’s more is that they took them on tremendously well providing a real insight to the work of Sarah Kane.
The music, composed by Nick Gill provided not only contextual aspects within this performance but also paralleled with the emotion in the scenes. The use of simplistic tranquil piano scoring against the electronic music worked well with the dysfunction of the play. This created an oxymoronic feel to it which I believe enhanced the sympathy towards the characters in the play even more. The music showed the brutality of being at war and what it can do to people. The album is available to listen to on Nick Gill’s website, www.nickfuckinggill.com.
Overall, Kate Wasserburg should be commended for making Sarah Kane’s ‘Blasted’ work well on stage with the action being in such close proximity with the audience. This is a performance that is integral to go and watch if you call yourself a ‘theatre-goer’ as it’ll provide an experience you wont get with anything else. This play isn’t for everyone but if you think you’re strong enough to handle the content then you need to get down to Porter’s pub and step into the Other Room where you’ll be transported to a whole new wavelength.