By Chiara Pannozzo
Friendship can be a funny old thing. The people we invite into our lives have the potential to inflict an array of emotions upon us, and challenge how we once perceived things. This theme formed the basis of Michael Shand’s latest production ‘Doors Close, They Never Lock’, which premiered tonight as part of the Leith Festival, in association with That’s Lunch Productions.
Initially we are introduced to two characters, Kingsley (Harry Gooch) and Moffat (Michael Shand). The set design undoubtedly reflected a nursery, with toys and books strewn across the floor. From the outset, Shands portrayal of an archetypal Scots man is undeniable. The tone in his voice, accompanied by his linguistic style made for an accurate performance, whilst complementing Gooch’s more refined characteristics. Gooch is clearly more educated and his position in charge of the nursery indicates this. He gives an impressive performance as a professional individual who cares a great deal about his career. Both men were clear in the delivery of their dialogue, with no discrepancies in their projection and no evidence of forced improvisation.
As the opening scene develops, the friendship between the two characters becomes apparent. This is further prompted with the arrival of Anderson (Mark McCauley) on stage, where it becomes clear to the audience that so far this friendship has stood the test of time. Andersons presence on stage toys with the dynamic between the other two characters. His command of the stage was undeniable, leaving the audience with no doubt as to his characters intentions. His poise and delivery throughout the performance was entirely impressive, where he disguised a rather wayward character as an articulate and intelligent individual. His monologues were impressively refined, leaving the audience intrigued with every sentence.
As the three men relive their friendship, each character holds their own on the stage. The stage set pails into significance in comparison to the stage presence of each character, which instantly commands the audience’s attention as the plot unfolds. Maintaining an element of intrigue throughout, this play certainly has the audience guessing as to how the production will conclude.
‘Doors Close, They Never Lock’ is a cleverly handled look at the intricacies of friendships and the volatility that lies at their core. With impressive performances from all three actors , the script provides some comedic anecdotes in what is otherwise a thought provoking production. The balance in the elements of light hearted comedy ran seamlessly alongside more sensitive issues, which were handled with professionalism. With a refined and polished script accompanied by entirely convincing performances from all three actors, ‘Doors Close, They Never Lock’ left me very satisfied in my choice of how to spend a Friday evening.
‘Door’s Close, They Never Lock’ is showing at 7pm on Sat 11th June at White Space on Gayfield Square as part of the Leith Festival.