Blink (Tour - Sheffield)
Phil Porter's dysfunctional love story ''Blink'', playing at the Studio, Sheffield, is both "clever and thought-provoking".
Phil Porter's two-hander is billed as a "dysfunctional, voyeuristic and darkly funny love story"; an apt description, though the play consciously strains against the boundaries of this genre. "Love is not a cast iron set of symptoms", we are told in its opening lines, "Love is whatever you feel it to be". So this is a love story about not connecting; or about connecting in a very unusual way; about connecting remotely.
Lizzy Watts and Thomas Pickles play the unlikely lovers, Sophie and Jonah, with absolute precision and a compelling vulnerability, creating an intimacy with the audience that they are never allowed to experience with each other.
Joe Murphy's direction is clean and unfussy, letting the text take centre stage, whilst simultaneously devising creative solutions to its challenges through the use of simple props and technology. Hannah Clark's design - a hybrid of garden and office; half vibrant, half sterile - captures the ambiguous mood of the play evocatively.
At points, the result is funny and human. But it's also rather bleak. The trouble is we come to miss that connection, even though we know that's precisely the point.
There's no doubt this play is clever and thought-provoking, it just leaves you feeling a bit empty.
Blink continues at the Studio, Sheffield until 18 January.