Our Share of Tomorrow, written and directed by Dan Sherer for Real Circumstance, has a three week run at the Theatre503 as part of a national tour.
Set by the coast in an ambiguous location, the three characters are from Northern Ireland, Stoke and Essex respectively.
The premise of the play centres on 15-year-old Cleo Sparks (Tamsin Joanna Kennard), who has called upon chair delivery man John Broughton (David Tarkenter) to assist her in her quest to find her (recently deceased) mother's ex-lover Tom (Jot Davies). The unlikely mix of characters is intriguing, yet as the play progresses it becomes increasingly clear that this is the only element of intrigue within the script.
Clunky, obvious, and simple in its execution, the script unfortunately leaves no stone unturned, proffering neither mystery nor empathy to any of its characters. The shouty, ranting delivery, and provocative behaviour and cat-fights amongst the characters on stage, further alienate us, leaving one baffled as to how the sudden bursts of sea-faring folksong are meant to make them feel.
Moreover, a lack of silence and stillness and random outpourings of emotion mean that we continually have to play catch-up with a cast that races towards the finish line without dealing properly with the huge issues and feelings within.
The set, designed by James Cotterill, is one redeeming feature of this rather slap-dash production, featuring a large, mesh-covered strip light mounted on the wall, giving the marbled effect of waves and clouds at various moments. The staging of a boat using two thick ropes is also cleverly executed, although if the actors had reacted to being on the water instead of running around the boat (surely they would have fallen overboard!) then this would have been more effective.
In all, the moral or point of the story is lost through a rather obvious script and fraught performances, and ultimately left me feeling confused and frustrated. This is a shame, because with a little script-revision, the drawing of more three-dimensional and mysterious characters, and a delivery worthy of the actors, Our Share of Tomorrow could have been a real gem.
- Amy Stow