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Memory Cells - One4Review

4 Stars


Louise Welch in her new psychological drama, directed by Hannah Eidenow, deals with a sensitive and difficult subject which is the entrapment, imprisonment and abuse of a woman by a man. As a piece of theatre, it grips totally from first entering the auditorium to the final seconds of the action. Straightaway, an eerie mood is created with a long opening scene without words.

When the dialogue begins, the early impression is that the woman is deranged. She doesn’t want food, then she does. It is clear the couple know each other. He is Barry and she is Cora. It becomes chilling when it is apparent she is imprisoned in a cellar by Barry who reveals by degrees, a violent schizophrenia. He expresses his love for Cora but will twist her words and abuse her mentally, physically and sexually.

Cora is an enigma. She expresses both love and intense loathing for Barry. However, Barry has chosen his victim well because nobody will question Cora’s sudden disappearance. Barry is her only human contact. What would happen to her if something were to happen to him?

The play does contain harrowing and shocking scenes. Nevertheless, the supreme quality of writing and the intense acting of John Stahl and Emily Taafe, backed up by the effective use of sound and lighting give credible insight into the nature of the worst kind of relationship between a man and a woman.

Reviewed by Ben

Venue; Venue Number                  Pleasance Dome; V23

Dates                                                  4 to 30 August 2010 (not 17, 24)

Times                                                 17.20 to 18.40

Fringe Programme Page Number: 271

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