The life of a premature baby hangs in the balance. His teenage brother – a survivor from the same predicament – gathers together two of his friends to enact a desperate plan to save his sibling’s life. With three chairs, a chain suspended from the ceiling and a pair of pliers, the props themselves hint at the terrible desperation of the scheme about to unfold.
Thirty Two Teeth is a brave and uncompromising piece of new writing from Jam Jar Productions, who impressed last year with their dark modern fairytale Following Wendy. Here, the same gothic supernatural elements are introduced: anachronistic at first, then taking on their own surreal logic as the desperation of the characters takes hold.
The premise of Thirty Two Teeth is perhaps its weakest point. The plan to save the child revolves around the main character’s flawed belief in the power of the creature he summons – a creature that will be familiar to all, but which ultimately may leave a few heads being scratched as to its ability to resolve the problem demanded of it.
Performances from the male leads are powerful: strong and brooding roles expressed convincingly and with charisma and authority. Once the piece reaches its second half, things begin to descend into slightly more fantastical territory; though the performances are consistent throughout, maintaining attention and momentum.
With its unsettling mood and strong lead performances, Thirty Two Teeth is a gripping piece of claustrophobic and brooding theatre: though its premise is perhaps just a little too hard to swallow.
Thirty Two Teeth runs until Aug 29 (not 15) at 15:20 at C soco. More details here