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Terminus (Tour - Salford)

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
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Supernatural intervention gives the anonymous characters of Terminus a second chance. A mother (Olwen Fouere) endures and inflicts horrendous violence atoning for a past misdeed. Her alienated daughter (Catherine Walker) is saved from an assault by a lost soul searching for the host (Declan Conlon) who relinquished him and is coping with the consequences of his Faustian bargain.

Although the play is structured as three alternating monologues writer and director Mark O’Rowe ensures that it remains theatrical. His script is dense and contains memorable phrases that repay the intense concentration required. A sense of apprehension is created by Jon Bausor’s set which places the characters within a massive broken mirror from which fog eerily spills over the audience.

The cast provide a varied texture by speaking rhythmically in the style of blank verse. Although the nature of the play places limitations on their delivery they skilfully indicate differences between the characters. Fouere has a brittle, defensive stance whereas Walker is more open and naturalistic.

Terminus is not without flaws; O’ Rowe’s love of the use of words gives a baroque feel and, without an interval, its running time becomes uncomfortable. Nevertheless, this is an exciting and suitably discomforting play that deserves to be seen.

- Dave Cunningham


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