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The Flick

Published 20 April 2016

What’s it all about?

The Flick is an earnest, steadily-paced window into the routine lives of three modest employees of an ailing small-town movie theatre. As they sweep spilt popcorn from the aisles and work on their mundane duties, they spend time – a lot of time – together, social barriers gradually eroding as they dare to bare their souls to one another.

At its core, it’s a reassuring dramatic comedy about all of us: our friendships, our relationships, and the perks and pitfalls of growing closer to your equally complex fellows. 

Who’s in it?

Hot off the heels of an acclaimed run in New York, the celebrated American stage duo Matthew Maher and Louisa Krause reprise their roles as the quippy, wistful Sam and the outspoken, no-holds-barred (frenetic dance moves included) Rose, respectively.

Joined on these shores by Jaygann Ayeh as the shy, neurotic film purist Avery, whose hiring sets events into motion, the trio inhabit their characters in such a magnificent triumvirate of performances you may have to fight the urge to shake them out of the anguish-laden stalemates they dig themselves into. 

What should I look out for?

Baker’s rich writing deftly encompassing the difficulties of interpersonal communication. Sam, Rose and Avery’s discussions are so refreshingly relatable that, placed under the watchful glare of an audience, you can’t help but chuckle at how absurd human conversation really can be.

Silence saying plenty more than words… Constantly feeding a tragic, but by turns hilarious, lingering awkwardness, the exceptionally frequent gaps in speech become a goldmine of comedy – and tragedy in themselves.

In a nutshell?

Bursting with goodwill, humour, pain and reaffirming warmth, The Flick is a raw and heartfelt study of human behaviour that easily transcends the melodrama of silver screen treatment.

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Will I like it?

The Flick is an atypical play. In its constant juggling of the unspoken word with its slow-paced fortifying of unlikely relationships, familiar concepts – particularly to fans of, to suitably cite a film, The Breakfast Club – are conveyed in wholly unfamiliar and subversive ways which demand patience for the payoff. But if you allow yourself to lend The Flick your empathy, you’ll witness the portrayal of a wonderfully sincere and truly unique work. Staggeringly well written, remarkably performed, this is theatrical richness at its purest.

The Flick is playing at The National Theatre until 15 June. You can book tickets through the National Theatre’s website.

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