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David Porter » Reviews » Pool (No Water)

Pool (No Water)

Norwich Theatre Royal Actors’ Company at the Playhouse Theatre, Norwich

Review published in the Eastern Daily Press, 17 September 2008

Pool (No Water)

The idea for this play sounds innocuous  enough. A famous artist invites old friends to her house, but suffers a terrible accident when she  jumps into  the drained pool.

As she lies in a coma, they make her suffering their own artwork. They film her, over and over. Then she wakes. Then it gets interesting as the fragility of friendship and jealousy of others’ success is exposed.

Mark Ravenhill, contemporary writer of savage social drama, is not afraid of shocking audiences.

The Actors’ Company – Norwich Theatre Royal’s own professional repertory group – is equally open to edgy work. Drawing heavily on physical theatre techniques, it is a stream consciousness that tells a compelling tale.

The cast of four – David Alderman, Viss Elliot Safavi, Joseph Wicks and UEA graduate Romy Tennant – sustain the huge energy needed to relive almost literally some shocking memories.

The woman that we never see manipulates from her hospital bed, even though the friends think they have the upper hand and are getting revenge on her broken body.

It is clever writing interpreted and performed with precision.

Images, changes of pace, violence, tenderness, moments of humour and the knife edge of chaotic madness come along in waves. They pack a lot into 70 minutes. It will stay in the mind for a very long time.

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