Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Spur of the Moment @ Re:play, 16.01.15

I’m back again making myself at HOME for another segment of the ever impressive Re:play, and I am truly starting to appreciate why the festival has featured the pieces it has. Fluid writing and strong acting is without question, but the real quality of the festival’s programme is that the work gets the audience talking. And if I where to put money on it, I would bet Deaf Dog’s production of Spur of The Moment would top the list of the most confabulated.

Written by Anya Reiss at the tender age of 17, it is a play in which its characters are simultaneously toyed by relationships and distance, power and weakness, their truths and lies, all as a result of their desires. It's is a perfect recipe for controversy, and makes for delicious audience commentary.

Delilah (Tilly Slade) has all the traits of a 12 year old: sleepover parties with her friends, imitating High School Musical and looking forward to her 13th Birthday. Just rooms away her parents, Nick (Darren Kemp) and Vicky (Joi Rouncefield), are at loggerheads again over Nick’s recent affair with his ugly, older boss – and to make matters worse, was soon after made redundant. Financially stressed and frustrated the couple take in a 21 year old lodger, Daniel (Jack Alexander) who falls between being a pawn in the parental battle and more disconcerting, a subject for Delilah’s pubescent fancies.

The concurrent theme is staged by the clever use of two transferable doors; these serve to both represent the divide of narratives and crossing of boundaries. A moment that I thought worked particularly well is when Daniel storms between his own room, currently inhabited by his visiting girlfriend (Lucienne Browne) and the room of a now devoted Delilah. A growing danger is evident as Daniel crosses the boundary into Delilah’s room for the first time in the play.

Another interesting notion I found was in the direction of Nick and Vicky and their battles over tea and cloths. The direction of petulant impersonations, “shut ups” and temper tantrums, cast an irony over the seemingly ‘adult’ relationship of the play. This is then exaggerated when Delilah ultimately makes the most conscientious decision and sacrifices what she thinks would make her happy.

Spur of the Moment has an infectious blend of comedy and tension to make you hold your breath or curl your toes. Arguably it sets out to shock, but has an underlying hybrid of “you can’t always get what you want” and “be careful what you wish for”. One thing is for certain – it will get you talking.

Words: Kate Morris

Image: Courtesy of HOME

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