I’m Spilling My Heart Out Here concerns a group of teens spending their time either slagging off, or attempting to cop off with, each other. The arrival of a new member of the gang, who may or may not have a strange relationship with a deceased pupil, acts as a catalyst to a bizarre physical manifestation of their emotions.
Although full of ideas the play is unfocused and over-runs badly. The characterisation reflects the influence of teen dramas like Buffy and Dawson’s Creek – the pretty girls are bitches, the geek wears glasses and may be gay and the teens are over-articulate; capable of reporting on cellular memory. There is a lack of clarity in the storytelling with key developments taking place off-stage and being described in a way that leaves you struggling to put faces to names. It is very hard to understand why the gang suddenly turns against one of its members.
Director Andrew Barry sets a naturalistic tone for the play making excellent use of the life-experience that the Company bring to the stage. The cast respond with relaxed and convincing performances as a group in the highly active playground scenes and as individuals in the more intimate moments. But neither the director nor cast can handle the abrupt change in mood when, after a few faltering steps towards a ghost story, the play switches from naturalistic to magic reality.
The dramatic effect of the change is mishandled – it ought to provoke a strong reaction, either positive or negative, but you just end up puzzled. More significantly the cast share this confusion with their delivery occasionally showing a lack of comprehension.
I’m Spilling My Heart Out Here isn’t the success one would have wished for such a promising young company but does give the cast the chance to show their potential for the future.
- Dave Cunningham