Don’t be a fool, go see Pool

Pool (No Water)
Mark Ravenhill
St. Catz Amphitheatre
15th-16th May
Rating: 4.5/5

Pool (No Water) follows the fortunes of a group of artists as the rise to fame of one of them results in bitterness and jealousy within the group.

This play explores the fragility of friendship, and delves into the deepest and darkest parts of man’s soul, bearing the horrific truth for all the audience to see.
Often in productions of this play, the figures are all presented being largely the same character. Sarah McCready, on the other hand, has attempted to instil a greater variance to make the questions of morality far more poignant.

The actors work well together, often directly addressing the audience to create a confessional aura. The audience are not meant to feel comfortable but are ‘dragged into the minds of the characters and forced to question their own morals.’ The relationship between the actors was impressive, with the slickness of cues giving the production the energy it requires for success.

The changes in pace engulf the audience in the action, often going from joyful frivolity to sickening chaos in the blink of an eye. Much of the action offers a disturbing insight into the morals of humanity.

The creation of art through suffering in this piece is particularly stark, endowing the casual statement that ‘we are all artists’ with a far more sinister undertone to it. The creation of tension and the chilling fear instilled by the horrific incident were incredibly successful.

The ability of the actors to engage with the audience was both disconcerting and strangely cathartic in their brutal honesty. Despite McCready’s attempt to move the emphasis from physical theatre into the characters themselves, the physical theatre itself was very effective.

This production will make you question your own morals, challenging you to engage in the sick creation of art taking place, whilst presenting, in itself, the grotesque mask of human nature: “we are all bad people.”