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A Dark Night in Dalston at the Park Theatre – Review

Joe Coen and Michelle Collins in A Dark Night In Dalston at Park Theatre. Photo by Helen Murray
Joe Coen and Michelle Collins in A Dark Night In Dalston at Park Theatre. Photo by Helen Murray

Fate often brings people in and out of our lives in complicated times. When a man prepares to make major life changes, he ends up finding himself looking into the eyes of unexpected love in A Dark Night in Dalston.

Gideon, a young soon-to- be-wed Jewish man from the opposite end of London, visited Dalston for an evening. After being attacked on his way home, Gideon is found by the eccentric woman, Gina, who welcomes him into her home. While munching on a crisp sandwich and drinking shots of whisky the two begin to get closer as their dark and personal secrets are exposed in A Dark Night in Dalston.

Stewart Permutt’s dark comedy-drama is witty, clever and entertaining as Gina chatters on about everything and anything—gossip, town news, the loud neighbours next door. The paradox of Gina and Gideon’s personalities created an immature infatuation between the two making the play more interesting and dynamic to watch. The story was realistic and authentic throughout the play with the exception of Permutt’s character Billy who is Gina’s husband. It was clear early on the direction the story was taking with Billy and that direction of his character could have been more convincing throughout the performance.

Coen stole the play with his strong and convincing charm, as he was completely absorbed into every scene. Opposite from him, Collins presented her character outward toward the audience, seeming very much aware that she had spectators around her. It seemed Gina was constantly looking away into the audience when she would talk to Gideon. That character choice made the fourth wall vanish as Collins said her comedic one-liners, and the choice of facing the audience directly distanced herself from Coen.

A Dark Night in Dalston is a dark comedy that will have audiences intrigued in the mystery of a quirky woman’s fascinating life of hidden secrets and the religious obligations of a young man searching for happiness.

4 stars

A Dark Night in Dalston
7 March – 1 April 2017
Park Theatre
Clifton Terrace
London N4 3JP
Running Time: 105 minutes, no interval

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