Don’t Blink… Accept the invitation…
If you ever get invited to write a review of Blink, accept the invitation…
…because you’ll find yourself in a world of pure romance, truthful writing and brilliant staging. With a charmingly decorated set, great delivery and imagination, you’ll be transported into the world of Jonah and Sophie, played by Thomas Pickles and Lizzy Watts, and their somewhat unique love story.
The originality of nabokov’s stamp on this production is the first thing to be admired. Joe Murphy, Artistic Director of nabokov and Artistic Associate at Soho Theatre, directs the show with imaginative movement and exceptional character delivery, which is exactly what you want to see from a new piece of theatre (albeit one with sell out tours across the country). His direction moves the action and story along at an exciting pace but leaving enough time to revel in the language and story of the piece. What you’re presented with is a cacophony of honest theatre, that is both striking and moving, but also very intelligent and a joy to watch.
Phil Porter’s play is brilliantly written (helped, as mentioned, by the imaginative staging of Joe Murphy) to tell the story of two offbeat characters, Jonah and Sophie. Transporting you into a world of self sufficient religious communes, the dentist making you miss Pancake Day, life and death, wellies, senior management and the most indefinable feeling of all, love, and how it relates to the modern world around us.
The short, sharp, snappy dialogue moved the piece along imaginatively, as well as the interaction with the outside world and the people in it. The detail of the script is a real joy, describing the characters journey through the memories, objects and pictures that make up their unusual lives. A particular high point being the description of the Isle of Man, “known mostly for cats with no tails and motorbikes”, something which I think the Isle of Man tourist board should consider looking at using (I’d go!).
Both Thomas Pickles and Lizzy Watts display great skill in telling us their characters’ stories, with great control and imagination, complimenting and working in sync with the story, dialogue and scenery around them.
The set design was beautifully simplistic yet full of marvelous detail, which was perfectly in sync with the characters on stage. The actors and set moved as one, which is something to say of the acting by Thomas Pickles and Lizzy Watts, in making the furniture not look or feel like furniture. Rather, seeing the stage and objects around you as living things, with stories and memories and tales of their own to tell you. The objects helped animate the story bringing Jonah and Sophie’s quirky tale to life.
I left with exactly what I come to the theatre for, and that’s to be entertained, moved and engaged. Isn’t that why we all take part, watch and love the things we enjoy?
Blink is a wonderfully honest and imaginative production of theatre, where there is nothing more to say than, go see it and enjoy. Oh, and whatever you do, don’t blink or you’ll miss a treat. Come on, I had to use that at some point!?
Thanks for reading!
Steven Blackshaw (Gueast Blogger for February)