Monday, 28 April 2014
Theatre review: The Believers
Bryony Lavery's The Believers is a sometimes very dark meditation on belief, and suggests that both the utter lack of faith of one couple, and the indiscriminate openness of the other, are potentially dangerous.
But it's also a Frantic Assembly show, which means Scott Graham has hung Lavery's sparse text on a production typified by bold physical theatre. Jon Bausor's set is made up of sharp angles, with bright fluorescent lights surrounding ominous dark spaces, and in these Graham has his actors, with the aid of - sometimes cunningly hidden - wires, increasingly defy gravity as their discussions tend more towards the esoteric, or their emotional states become more fraught.
Between unsettling subject matter, strong performances and eye-popping staging, The Believers is a powerful and sometimes disturbing piece, although with plenty of moments that lighten the tension. Andy Purves' lighting and Carolyn Downing's eerie, jarring sound design contribute to an unsettling effect that sometimes crosses over into horror. Although whether the horror should be considered supernatural or psychological, Lavery leaves to the audience to decide.
The Believers by Bryony Lavery is booking until the 24th of May at the Tricycle Theatre.
Running time: 1 hour 20 minutes straight through.