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Make Believe (Re:Play Manchester)

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
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Make Believe, written and performed by Luke Walker and Sally Lawton, examines how fantasy can become additive if used as a shield against reality. Ironically the authors are reluctant to allow the audience to apply imagination and explain
all plot developments in pedestrian detail reducing any suspense.
Traumatised by a childhood experience Ballerina (Lawton) takes her imaginary friend Jockey (Walker) on a quest that might grant him freedom and end her dependency on illusion. Director Alyx Tole makes good use of the large Contact
Theatre stage and a series of mundane objects to create the quest. The entrance of both characters is highly imaginative. However, neither she nor Lawton is able to generate any sympathy for Ballerina whose passive attitude makes it very
easy to share the irritation expressed by Jockey.
Although there are credible details for the fantasy inhabited by the characters the relationship between the two is confused. The series of excellent puns and wordplay included in the dialogue might be more appropriate in a screwball
comedy than a study of loneliness and guilt.
The success of some aspects of the play makes those parts that are not fully realised all the more frustrating.

- Dave Cunningham


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