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Guest Reviewer Kym Vaitiekus Shares His Thoughts On THE LOVELY BONES

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THE LOVELY BONES bare the aftermath of a family tragedy.

Guest Reviewer Kym Vaitiekus Shares His Thoughts On THE LOVELY BONES

Wednesday 24th November 2021, 7:30pm, New Theatre

Guest Reviewer Kym Vaitiekus Shares His Thoughts On THE LOVELY BONES

The New theatre has burst out of the pandemic lockdown with an engaging production of The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold and adapted by Bryony Lavery.

Director Deborah Mulhall has chosen a compelling, relevant and inventive work for a return to theatre.,

The Lovely Bones follows Susie Salmon who ascends to heaven after a being the victim of a sexual and violent murder. While sparing with her guardian angel she oversees the events that unfold within her family, the events that are the result of her tragic demise.

Susie, a sprightly soul, watches as her father struggles with finding who caused his hell on earth. She observes her mother who battles the pain of losing a child and is trying to find a way out. She vicariously experiences first love via her sister's young romance.

Guest Reviewer Kym Vaitiekus Shares His Thoughts On THE LOVELY BONES

Mulhall has assembled a passionate and enthusiastic cast that ventures through a crime thriller that then evolves into a human drama about the journeys in life.

Mulhall staging is wonderfully inventive which supports the drama with aplomb. To portray the various narrative threads in combination with the supernatural elements, Mulhall has deftly blocked her cast in the superb set design by Robyn Archer.

The performances are earnest. Sarah Maguire is beautifully cast as the cheeky, smart, joyous, and audacious Susie Salmon. Brendan McBride's Detective is strong, grounded and truthful.

The cast perform with conviction. The best moments of the night are the quiet ones. Some of these were displayed by Cassady Maddox, Ted Crosby and Naomi Belet.

Sean Taylor has the difficult role of the sexual predator. Taylor and Mulhall have handled the delicate scenes with finesse.

At times, it seems that the ensemble think the louder they yell, it equates with a more intense performance. There are many ways to emote anger and it would be valuable if the layers in this emotion were explored with more depth. This piece could be more compelling with the actors finding those truthful moments. There were lines that didn't land quite right, as they seemed to expect a more humorous response from the audience.

Of course, under the current challenges we all face, thorough rehearsals could prove to be difficult.

Sound Designer, Sam Barnett, has created a fitting audio landscape. The musical transitions were perfectly suited to the drama of those scenes, though some of them seem to end abruptly. This may have been a result from the fact that the scene changes seemed rushed. The start and end of scenes were over lapping and being clipped. It was not helped by hearing the cast rush and stomp off stage to ensure the pacey scene changes.

New Theatre is expertly following the covid safety requirements and it's a joy to be able to see live theatre again. Do venture out to enjoy a night of theatre once again, one that is intriguing, inventive and engaging.

Guest Reviewer Kym Vaitiekus Shares His Thoughts On THE LOVELY BONES

Guest Reviewer Kym Vaitiekus Shares His Thoughts On THE LOVELY BONES

Photo © Bob Seary.


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