Ambrosine Falck and Benjamin Davies in Nerve
Barons Court Theatre
Where: Inner London
22 October 2010 WOS Rating: Reader Reviews: View and add to our user reviews “A puppet lover who hates rollercoasters” and a woman with “borderline personality disorder” meet for a first date in a New York bar – sounds like the opening line to a joke but is in fact the driving force behind Adam Syzmkowicz play Nerve which premieres in London this week as the inaugural production for Prestige Theatre Company.
Syzmkowicz script is dense but neat and flows easily as Elliot (
Benjamin Davies) and Susan ( Ambrosine Falck) come to “fall in love” on their first date. They both have many “quirks” (as Susan terms them) and, as their romantic histories unravel before us, we soon get a clearer picture of these two very strange characters. Davies gives a high-energy performance and captures the intensity of obsessive, jealous Elliot with his quick, erratic movements, moods and puppet ex-girlfriend. Falck’s Susan takes a little while to warm up starting primly on the edge of her seat, but as she rips serviettes and oscillates between coldly brisk and achingly insecure, she soon becomes a worthy adversary for Elliot in this odd game of love.
Eduardo Barreto’s direction certainly uses the space well but a little too much and the seemingly constant movement of the play, while underpinning the nervous energy of the protagonists, distracts from the power of the script. When movement was really necessary, in Susan’s dances on the stage, Sally Marie choreography could have been much bolder (especially considering Falck’s dance background) – it seemed more an embarrassing aside than Susan’s own inner voice seeking expression. Philip Lindley’s set, like Barreto’s direction is also a case of just a little too much. While the heart of his set - a padded bench set around a low table, complete with costers and a bar stool - does well to create the image of a common-to-garden bar; the addition of a juke box and box shelves of liquor on the wall simply clutter.
While this play’s premise may sound like the start to a bad joke it is in fact an exploration into the desperation and isolation of modern day life and this production, with certain tweaks, amends and cuts, is certainly on the right path to being a really visceral theatrical experience.
- by Laura Norman Related Content
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...