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The Believers

Published April 28, 2014

What’s it all about?

A child has died. We don’t know why and we don’t know how, but throughout the course of Bryony Lavery’s compelling play we find out how, for one couple, taking refuge at a neighbour’s house during a flood was one of the biggest mistakes they ever made.

Who’s in it?

Eileen Walsh, Christopher Colquhoun, Penny Layden and Richard Mylan play the two couples involved in this spooky and gripping four-hander. As far as relationships go, you couldn’t get two more different than that of Walsh and Colquhoun’s Marianne and Joff, and Layden and Mylan’s Maude and Ollie. The former are playful and silly as they sit around the dinner table mocking Ollie and Maude’s political correctness and devout faith in God, while the latter are serious and forgiving in response to their guests’ disruptive behaviour.

Ingenious fluctuations in time also mean that the actors, particularly Walsh and Colquhoun, are forced to completely transform themselves, the funny faces they pull during grace turning to pictures of grief and anger in the face of tragedy.

What should I look out for?

Frantic Assembly’s trademark movement and choreography. With a set so minimalistic that rooms are evoked only by frames, it is up to the outstanding, seemingly gravity-defying cast and Scott Graham’s innovative physical theatre to convey the setting.

Who was in the press night crowd?

The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time’s Olivier Award-winning duo Simon Stephens and Luke Treadaway were deep in conversation as the audience filed out of the auditorium, no doubt singing its praises if Treadaway’s tweet below is anything to go by.

In a nutshell?

Bryony Lavery’s compelling drama plays with time to turn a simple tale about an ‘act of God’ into a suspenseful and intriguing piece of physical theatre.

What’s being said on Twitter?

@LukeTreadaway If you like your theatre original, brave and physical, go and see #TheBelievers by @franticassembly @TricycleTheatre.

@paul_griffiths Just been amazed and inspired once again by the brilliance of @franticassembly @TricycleTheatre #TheBelievers ; pure theatrical genius. Wow!

Will I like it?

If you want something a bit different that is both emotionally-charged and a little bit frightening, this is for you. I haven’t seen the latter but I’m willing to bet that the production on stage at the Tricycle Theatre can rival the Russell Crowe and Emma Watson-led drama currently in cinemas when it comes to biblical flood-based epics.

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