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A missed opportunity to explore young parenthood and the effects of thoughtless actions on a couple.

Review: FOR A BRIEF MOMENT AND NEVER AGAIN SINCE, VAULT Festival For a Brief Moment and Never Again Since promises a look at a couple's life through the lens of incarceration and crime. In less than 40 minutes, instead of the 60 advertised, it does nothing of the likes. Owen and Sarah are suddenly unemployed and have an unplanned baby on the way. Moving between the timeline of their relationship, we find out that something landed him in prison and Sarah wants to cut ties with him.

Their marriage is as rocky as the acting in this production. From financial manipulation to the absolute absence of chemistry between the performers, as it is, the piece simply doesn't work. Peter James' delivery is dry and impassive as he tips into a laddish artificial upspeak for the better part of it. On the opposite side, Monique Anderson does her best with Judi Amato's unengaging dramatisation and difficult partner.

Scene changes rooted in physical movement shake it up a little, but Lisa Millar's direction feels forced. Violent gesticulations smother any attempt at subtlety from Anderson, and James has his hands metaphorically tied by all the ellipses that botch their cues. It's a shame the show doesn't deliver as it's extremely rare for theatre to bring up Shaken Baby Syndrome.

It's a missed opportunity to explore young parenthood and the effects of thoughtless actions on a couple.

For a Brief Moment and Never Again Since runs at VAULT Festival until 29 January.

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From This Author - Cindy Marcolina

Italian export. Member of the Critics' Circle (Drama). Also a script reader and huge supporter of new work. Twitter: @Cindy_Marcolina

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