By Isabella Fraser
Set in the round in a small studio space, Leave Me is centred around a bed; the atmosphere is claustrophobic. There are two people sitting blindfolded, dressed in white/beige colours. What did this mean? What came to mind to this reviewer was: “there are none so blind as those that cannot see”… or in other words, we often only see what we want to see. A violin player is playing live at key moments as we observe the drama unfold.
Written and directed by Kate O’Connell, this play features physical theatre as well as live violin music composed by Daniel-Wyn Jones, that eloquently pitches the sense of the moment, subtly played by Nia-Bethan Squirrel. There are some lovely pieces of movement choreography around, on and over the bed. Almost like a mating dance, there are tableaux that paint pictures of the mood. The crux of the play is how rape can occur in relationships. Well written by O’Connell, it is treated with compassion in this piece.
Sexual violence is a particularly difficult area to portray. Actors Lily McCann and Tom Greene have sensitively and realistically created characters that we can recognise and a situation that seems entirely plausible. Coupled with the clever use of lighting states, the imagery and scenes are believable. It would have been useful to see the tension rack up more in the built up to the event, therefore allowing us to see the full devastation of the impact afterwards: this was the part in which it felt the show fell a little flat. While the ending is not unexpected, this does not detract from appreciating what is a good all round production.
Leave Me runs until 25 August at Spotlites @ The Merchants’ Hall at 19.30. Running time is 50 mins.