BWW Review: THE MATCH BOX, Citizens Theatre, Glasgow

BWW Review: THE MATCH BOX, Citizens Theatre, Glasgow

BWW Review: THE MATCH BOX, Citizens Theatre, Glasgow

In this staging of Frank McGuinness' The Match Box we are faced with a lone woman with a microphone. The backdrop is old newspaper pages which is bland enough to ensure your attention doesn't shift from the performer. The only colour onstage is the red fire bucket which the actor drops used matches into.

Sal (played by Janet Coulson) begins by telling us when she found out she was pregnant with her daughter while still at school. She then moves on to describing their life together as she brought her up as a single parent. Sal flits between speaking as herself and in a childlike manner as though she is young Mary.

At age twelve, Mary was caught in the crossfire of a gang shooting and tragically died. We are taken from Sal's disbelief to flat-out denial about what happens. As the days following her death unfold, we get an in-depth look at the different layers of grief.

Coulson's distress increases as the story unfolds and watching her is simply exhausting. There are several twists and turns in the dialogue but the tale is undeniably bleak throughout.

Throughout the performance, the dialogue is punctuated with the striking of a match. The sound is amplified by the microphone to ensure the action isn't lost and it becomes apparent after a while why the matches have so much significance to Sal.

The Match Box is not an easy watch but this powerful monologue is well worth it.

The Match Box is at the Citizens Theatre until Saturday 24th February.

Photo credit: Alistair Kerr

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