Imagine this; you're walking through a field when, suddenly, a huge steel girder falls from the sky, crushing your dog. Painted on the side of the girder are the words 'your wife is leaving you', with an attached selfie of your wife, standing by the front door, next to her packed suitcases. Admittedly an odd scenario, but it can often feel as though, when watching a tragedy as an audience member, we're waiting for the metaphorical steel girder to drop, followed by that strong cathartic feeling we all know so well. At least, this is usually the scenario we find ourselves in.
Quaint and simple, Necessity - a fresh piece of new writing by Broken Silence Theatre - was comfortable to watch, establishing itself as a real 'slice of life' piece of theatre following the choices a young couple make when a letter, containing the consequences of an affair the man next door had, is accidentally sent to their address. Engaging throughout, the straightforward plot-line is fleshed out with interesting relationships. It was enough to satisfy us as an audience, meaning that we did not need, or want our metaphorical 'steel girder' - we were perfectly content watching the, somewhat humorous, events unfold.
However, whilst the actors' performances were, technically, without a flaw - confident, focused and engaged at all times - they were fundamentally let down by the disjointed and unnatural dialogue, which, although clever and reflective at points, meant that the actors were unable to fully connect with the text for the simple reason that, no one speaks like that. The heavily rehearsed recitals of dialogue did allow for an effective opening sequence, providing comical moments between the young couple, but became a little tedious as they established a rhythm of speech, which turned into a bit of a Chuckle Brother 'to me, to you' moment.
Overall this was play lively and enjoyable, with a dark undercurrent that drove the play to its gripping denouement. Necessity uses dynamic relationships and quick witted humour to immerse the audience throughout, never putting us under emotional pressure, but sustaining our engagement.
This show has now finished at Brighton Fringe. For more information, visit here.