03 May 2006

Blackbird by David Harrower

Una - Jodhi May
Ray - Roger Allam
Child - Jessica Lucy/Maggie Walker

Directed by Peter Stein
Designed by Ferdinand Wogerbauer

The Alberry during the last fortnight of it's run

Harrower by name, harrower by nature!

This is a really intense piece about the long-term side effects of child abuse. Jodhi May found a voice that I have need seen her produce before and it was exhausting. I saw a matinee and I cannot imagine how she could have the emotional strength to bring such energy to the evening performance. Roger Allam was slightly more passive but he a wonderful performance in this difficult role.

Sixteen years after the event, the victim of abuse (at 12 yrs old) confronts the perpetrator and they explore the events that led to the incident and the effects on their lives. Not a pleasant subject but handled with superb objectivity. Lovely touches from the director with what I presume were various members of the theatre and production staff popping their heads around corners etc and interesting use of sound too.

I was also very impressed by the final hasty scene change. Must have looked like a nightmare on the page but it was dealt with very efficiently.

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