Review, He(ART), Theatre N16, By Hannah Goslin

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3 out of 5 stars (3 / 5)

Above the Bedford pub in Balham lives a little unique space where creativity unfolds.

Written by Andrew Maddock and directed by Niall Phillips, He(ART) portrays the story of a couple and of a brother and sister and their different reasons to obtain this one painting. It is filled with heartfelt moments and great relationships, making the scene about more than just a painting.

Our couple are quick witted, on their toes with the narrative and comfortable with one another and their characters. From two different backgrounds and different opinions, we see them go through the highs and lows, the indifferences and the making up from these. To try to become as natural and realistic as these two performers managed to do shows great skill and attention to detail and subtext. My only issue with them comes down to the writing – we are introduced to our male protagonist having a heart condition which causes some arguments and tests to the relationship. While an interesting concept, to me if felt thrown in and did not link much in the overall aspect of the production.

Our brother and sister duo who are of a lower class, struggling with money, crime and family, coming together to support one another. The young sister having disabilities as well, provides a delicate narrative and they both do wonderfully in portraying their relationships, bonding and trusting one another in creating the narrative. This is well written and directed perfectly that these talented actors are able to pull at our heart strings and really make us feel our emotions.

A basic set, we are close to the performers and always see them on set – keeping in character, they are invested in the production and invested in the storyline to never break that barrier, showing their respect and interest in this production as a whole.

He(Art) in interesting and relatable but also leaves you feeling for the characters and applauding the performance, writing and directed as a whole.

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