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Fragile (Belgrade Theatre, Coventry)

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
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Fragile is a new play written by Coventry born BAFTA award-winning writer, Geoff Thompson. The production artwork itself is incredibly powerful and quotes “a brutally compelling new drama” - a fairly strong and certain statement to make prior to a show. However, one which is really only the tip of the iceberg.

Directed by Nick Bagnall, Fragile is a one-man show starring Craig Conway who can only be described as a revelation in this piece. He carries the one hour fifteen minute production on his shoulders from start to finish and the intensity of his performance never falters. His character ‘One’ delivers a series of monologues from the grayscale setting of his living room (aptly designed by Nicky Bunch) to a tape recorder. Conway unravels a troubled and traumatic past and it’s clear impact on his current life. Even though he is justifiably mentally disturbed by the events that happened when he was eleven years old, you could not help but feel warmth and mass sympathy for ‘One’ - this is to the credit of Conway delivery and Bagnall’s direction.

Mike Robertson’s lighting design was superb. Pathetic fallacy was used by both the lighting and the objects around the set to assist Conway’s emotion. Furthermore, three pieces of artwork, by Juan Munoz, that feature in the show are incredible tools.

There are no flaws in this production. The subject content is of course uncomfortable and tense but coming out of a theatre and actually feeling speechless is pretty amazing.

-Jenny Antill


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