The first play-trailer of term is out, ladies and gents, and… blow me down with a feather, it’s surprisingly good. A tricky medium to figure out, this outing from Orphans has a lot going for it: excellent camera work, atmospheric music and enough plot to raise a few compelling questions. After repeat viewings it can feel like someone’s run together a gritty BBC2 drama and Come Dine With Me, an effect not helped by the complete change in colour tone – though that seems to be the point, however bluntly it’s been made. It would have been kinder to my corneas, if nothing else, if there had been some more thought put into how the colour scheme should come together at the end. As for the acting, well, as always it seems as if content has lost out to context. The visuals of tube stations and road-signs are good, but unless the Keble O’Reilly has dramatically changed since I last visited, it isn’t an urban cityscape. I could get a far better idea of how good this play will be if I saw more than a wooden kiss and the gripping sight of a couple woefully low on chemistry eating salmon. Liam (David Shields) seems rather good though, if the three seconds he faced the camera are any indication. Athletic too. Phew, after all that running I need to sit down – maybe in a Keble O’Reilly seat come 3rd week. Then again, given the production didn’t let one of their major players (Helen, Alice Porter) speak onscreen, maybe not.
Orphans plays at the Keble O’Reilly theatre in 3rd week. Tickets available at www.rough-hewn.org/