1/2 Stars

Every One at Battersea Arts Centre – 2 Stars

A play which takes forty minutes before engaging its core plot had better have a good reason for doing so. Among such good reasons might be intriguing staging, fascinating characters, or maybe some point being made about how plot is an empty concept. Sadly, Every One had none of these to its defence, and sinned more seriously by having all of the (doubtless excellent) performers address their (distressingly plain) lines directly to the audience, drama always subordinate to narrative, and the first rule of play-writing (show, don’t tell) ignored immensely to its cost.

Every One 2

The actors here had plenty to offer (no written material was provided to the audience, so I’m unable to furnish names of characters or performers) but their script refused to allow the story to unfold with sufficient pace or interest for them to do their job properly. The history of a ‘happy’ family was laboriously recounted, and though their ordinariness might have been supposed part of their charm – the father a teacher, the mother a tax inspector, the son obsessed with GTA and a daughter into fashion, an incontinent grandmother in a home – it was hard not to perceive them as stereotypes.

Paul Caira

Categories: 1/2 Stars, review

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