Review: Short and sweet play with wonderful performances at Kenilworth theatre
If the way to hell is paved with good intentions, then Veronique Vallon (Chris Ives) has built a veritable helterskelter.
She and her husband Michel (Matthew Salisbury) are hell bent on a ‘discussion’ with Alain (Pete Gillam) and Annette Reille (Sarah Campbell) over a fight between their two sons in a park. The scene is set somewhere in France where the seriousness of the fight – Bruno Vallon has chipped two teeth – is causing repercussions for the two sets of parents. Veronique is a right-on mother, seemingly the only one of the four who takes the incident seriously. Relationships veer between the cordial to the rude – then add rum and cigars and things deteriorate by the second.
This is a really interesting play which moots a variety of viewpoints about the so-called civilization of the civilized world and comes up with the notion that marriage is on the rocks, children are savages and adults are barely any better.
All the performances are wonderful, but, for me, Alain is king of the hill for the section where his interminable and unwelcome mobile phone – he is a lawyer in a crisis with a dodgy pharmaceutical company – is dunked in the tulips. His look of total dejection is wonderful to behold.
I might have been peculiarly lucky but the last few pieces I’ve seen at the Talisman have been short and sweet one-act plays of both peculiar variety and also great quality. This is definitely one such.