20 August 2010 WOS Rating: Pleasance Courtyard 4-30 August, 17.20 A basement squat, a mysterious and unnerving relationship, clanging noises that make you jump: by rights, Memory Cells should be an electrifying piece of theatre. It nearly is. Louis Welsh’s play is set in a sparse, dank room habited only by Cora (Emily Taaffe), who cannot leave, and Barry (John Stahl), who comes and goes according to his whim. The darkness of the situation is teased out bit by bit, with Taaffe’s glassy-eyed stares of despair being excellently matched by Stahl’s manipulative control.
It makes uncomfortable viewing. Holding Cora hostage through what he claims is an act of love, Barry says, ‘there are more colours in this room than the rest of the world.’ It’s reminiscent of John Donne’s ‘The Sun Rising’: ‘this bed thy centre is, these walls thy sphere,’ only, the sense of endearment is twisted into a chilling obsession. Unfortunately, the tension of the piece isn’t rewarded by the ending, which occurs twenty minutes earlier than the advertised running time.
Memory Cells is a promising play performed compellingly, but ultimately the audience’s curiosity is left un-sated.
- Miranda Fay Thomas
Related Content Back to Edinburgh Homepage
Subscribe to our free newsletter
Featured Editor's Picks
: The economic impact of Arts & Culture in the UK Infographic When Culture Secretary Maria Miller called for the arts to make their "economic case" for subsidy, t... Plays Cast: Harry Potter star in Southwark Moment, more for Branagh's Macbeth Bonnie Wright, best known for playing Ginny Weasley in the Harry Potter films, will make her stage d... Brief Encounter with ... The Kite Runner's Ben Turner Ben Turner stars in the stage version of the bestselling book The Kite Runner, which runs at Liverpo... Titus Andronicus (RSC) This latest production of Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus, to borrow from football punditry, is a p... : Britain's outdoor theatres Take Five With half-term approaching, the weather (hopefully) set to improve for the bank holiday weekend and ... West End Live returns to Trafalgar Square next month West End Live, a weekend of free entertainment from top London shows, will return to Trafalgar Squar... : 'I carry the ghost of Gregory Peck on my shoulders' Robert Sean Leonard Actor Robert Sean Leonard is currently playing Atticus Finch in Timothy Sheader's production of To K... To Kill A Mockingbird Twenty years ago, a young Robert Sean Leonard appeared on the London stage with Alan Alda in... X Factor musical titled I Can't Sing!, opens Palladium March 2014 The forthcoming X Factor musical will be called I Can't Sing! The Musical and will premiere at the L... Donmar stages Nick Payne premiere, Wesker's Roots & Tom Hiddleston in Coriolanus The Donmar Warehouse has announced its new season, which features the premiere of Nick Payne's new p...