11:55am Friday 15th June 2012
By Rick Bowen
LAST summer they performed in a rambling former mill. This year the Library Theatre’s on site production takes place in a city centre office block, the fiftth floor of which has been transformed into a lost property office, a cathedral of clutter.
This company couldn’t be boring if it tried, it just isn’t part of its DNA.
Everyone who passes through the doors of the lost property office has a story to tell, from a woman in the throes of dementia - Jessie - to Anna, a lost soul still haunted by the childhood death of her brother.
All the performances are up to the Library’s usual high standard but it was Anne Kidd and Bettrys Jones, as Jessie and Anna, who affected me the most. For anyone who has been affected by dementia Kidd’s performance will make for especially difficult viewing at times and Anna’s most difficult scene is superbly acted by Jones. In fact all the performances feel very natural thanks to the direction of Wils Wilson.
Jackie Kay’s play isn’t flawless and I found some of the dialogue a tad pretentious, with some of the characters overdosing on introspection at times. While the ending could have had more of an impact this is intelligent, grown up drama that will certainly open a few minds and touch a few hearts.
* At Number One First Street, Manchester, until July 7. The box office is on 0843 208 6000. Star rating - ***
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