(4 / 5)
Pink Mist, Owen Sheer’s highly acclaimed verse-drama, follows three cocksure Bristolian teens as they venture out of their mundane lives and into military, service and manhood. It is a story passed from generation to generation. What is duty and honour?
There is a reading below of Laurens review to listen to.
When discussing a piece of theatre – in those post-show discussions, with friends, when you are so casually trying to assert your immensely dominate intellectualism and philosophical nature over them – there always seems to be that continuous occurrence of certain words within your vocabulary, or maybe that repetition just shows my own intellect… but, to me, Pink Mist is simply beautiful. Beautiful, bold, and stunning. Heartrending, really.
Pink Mist is alight. Flickering then scorching, but that’s just good theatre, really. It is Sheers, however, that kindles the human psych through his poetry. I say poetry, not poetic language, not verse-drama, or monologue, because Sheers is massively contributing to the changing face of contemporary poetry. In a recent interview with Owen Sheers, he claimed that young people bring an electricity and an energy that cannot be compared, as audience members. It’s true. The school-trippers were out in mass, and they jumped, and they cried, and one girl gave the most, devotedly, dramatic gasp, I’ve ever heard! I’ve never seen an audience so willing to stand on their feet, other than in a school hall for their grandchildren. Teenagers really feel when given an outlet to do so. Young people really invest in stories, they’re less restrained and emotionally analytical, and they’re waiting for their own to begin. In Pink Mist that Sheers gives an extraordinary level of investment and empathy to the voices of these young people.
George Mann’s movement is captivating, compassionate and spirited. Technical aspects stimulated a sensory bombardment and affirmation. Both give scope to the artistic possibilities which the piece, furthermore, inspires. The piece, somewhat, enigmatic and abstract proves to challenge the given understanding, the status quo and the audience’s perception. And that’s why, I think, young people can fly with the piece. We’re spoon fed too much in today’s media. We’re capable of discovery because it is demanded by art – it is, and we are, more than the memorising and compressing of facts into some soul-devouring mock essay question that serves, actually, very little purpose to our society, to be honest with you.
Dan Krikler exudes charisma, Alex Stedman’s warmth, as an actor, is exemplary, and Peter Edwards’s Taff stands as perhaps the most endearing of all. However, the women of this piece, Rebecca Hamilton, Rebecca Kilick, and Zara Ramm, are exceptionally wholehearted; commanding a platform as pronounced as that of the boys’. The cast are one unity, a compact driving force. Yet, they’re either in isolation, or serving the microcosm which could deny a, certain, compulsive empathy. Perhaps it is through a dynamic distancing that provides an intensity, otherwise unattainable. So, I didn’t leave the theatre distraught, that night, like some very emotional valley girls (which was, actually, really funny), but I left upset; with a contentment in the knowledge that Pink Mist is a societal tragedy.
Pink Mist Tour
31 Jan – 1 Apr 2017
Presented by Nick Williams Productions
31 Jan-1 Feb, Aberystwth Arts Centre
2-4 Feb, Sherman Theatre, Cardiff
7-9 Feb, New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich
14-18 Feb, Oxford Playhouse
23-25 Feb, Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh
7-11 Mar, Devonshire Park Theatre, Eastbourne
14 Mar, Pontio, Bangor
17-18 Mar, Taliesin Arts Centre, Swansea
20-21 Mar, Theatre Royal Winchester
23-25 Mar, Birmingham Rep
28 Mar-1 Apr, West Yorkshire Playhouse