When a fancy, younger couple go to dinner

Thea Jade offers a robust, unnerving efficiency as Anna.

“At Dinner”, by Rebecca Duke, directed by Holly Johnson. At  ACT Hub Theatre, Kingston to February 11. Reviewed by LEN POWER.

“AT Dinner” is the world premiere of a brand new play by rising playwright, Rebecca Duke.

A younger couple meet for dinner after spending a while aside. They appear unwell relaxed and their dialog is decidedly awkward. Because the night progresses, their waitress is unwittingly drawn into this couple’s complicated energy video games.

The power of this new work, a part of the ACT Hub’s Growth Program, is within the dialogue and character growth, which principally captures the subtleties of those complicated younger folks. 

The dialogue for the lady, Anna, is especially effectively accomplished, leaving us puzzled by and serious about what’s motivating her behaviour. 

The younger man’s dialogue offers the sensation of an individual out of his depth and desperately making an attempt arduous to make the night successful. There may be, possibly, an excessive amount of awkwardness within the dialogue for his character early within the play.

Thea Jade offers a robust, unnerving efficiency as Anna. Timothy Cusack can be positive as Eden. The waitress was well-played by Nakiya Xyrakis.

Having the auditorium arrange as a restaurant with tables created the fitting ambiance, however the younger couple’s desk positioned at the next stage on the stage made it much less involving than if they’d been down at auditorium stage amongst the opposite “patrons”. This had labored positive with ACT Hub’s final manufacturing, “The Significance of Being Earnest”. The noise of the waitress’s footsteps whereas strolling round amongst the viewers’s tables was distracting at instances.

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One plot level didn’t ring true. It appeared unlikely and unprofessional {that a} waitress in a fairly elegant restaurant like this may invite solely the lady, in entrance of her associate, to drinks with the waitress’ pals afterwards. Possibly the lady must be the one to ask the waitress if she might be a part of them?

The director, Holly Johnson, has given this play the correct amount of sunshine and shade within the interplay between the characters in a restricted setting. It additionally runs at a very good tempo.

The ending of the play is a shock. Whether or not it’s the ending the viewers member desires will most likely differ from individual to individual. It’s actually surprising.

Duke has accomplished a positive job right here and it will likely be fascinating to see how her work progresses sooner or later.


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Ian Meikle, editor