Theatre Review: ‘You’ at The Courtyard Theatre – Hoxton

At just an hour long, the play ‘You’ by award-winning writer Mark Wilson, packs in a deep exploration of one woman’s memories and the skeletons she keeps. It is no wonder why this piece won The Kings Cross Award for New Writing last year as it is superbly written and performed by both Sarah Meadows and Stephen Myott who take on multiple characters throughout the play.

When the lights go up on the main stage at the Courtyard theatre,  we find a jittery Kathleen (Sarah Meadows ) who is waiting for a visitor. The visitor is not just any visitor but the man she gave up for adoption as a baby. All the life lived between that moment and now is filling her mind in the form of some real and imaginary memories which she has fabricated over the years in order to cope with the pain of having to give up her baby. The stories of her baby’s adopted parents , her father’s conversations with the social worker who arranged the adoption and the boy with whom she had the baby are all created for us by Kathleen’s vivid imagination on stage.

Director June Abbott kept the set quite simple with just a few tables and chairs. The colours were all grey, black and navy blues. She instead decided to make use of the different spotlights in order to capture each character in their moments of reflection or for when they would move from one character to another. This all definitely added to the disconsolate atmosphere which seemed to wrap around Meadows as she recounted the horrors of a life lived in regret and in wonder. The lights also help to accentuate Stephen Myott’s incredible expressiveness as he performed  his various monologues.

Myott gave an absolute stand out performance and slipped seamlessly from playing Kathleen’s father to her lover to her son.  He could go from the young arrogant army lad returning home after war to the hard father showing true disappointment in his daughter’s choices.  Meadows also gave a heartfelt performance and also showed her ability to take on such an emotionally trying role.

The Courtyard is a great space to see a show and have a drink as there’s also a lovely atmosphere downstairs at the bar. Based on the quality of this short play alone I am definitely keen to get back there again!

http://www.thecourtyard.org.uk/

 

About Melissa Palleschi

Melissa Palleschi New York actress living in London and trained in Italy, New York and here in London at the Actors Studio. She is also a founding member of the Planktonic Players, who made their London debut at Camden Fringe Festival in 2012.

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