Broken Silence Theatre presents Blackout. ‘Boy meets girl meets the end of the world.’ Following a power cut in a block of flats, neighbours Mark and Tracy agree to keep each other company until their electricity returns. But when the sun doesn’t rise the next morning they suspect something more sinister is occurring. Is it the effect of global warming, a scientific experiment gone wrong, or something else entirely? Part psychological thriller, part post-apocalyptic musical, Blackout is a bold and original new play by award-winning writer Tim Cook.
The open set consisted of a single bed, two chairs, guitar case and a telephone. It was simplistic yet functional. The lighting was even more simplistic with general lighting for the pre-blackout section and subdued lighting with a blue filter for post-blackout.
Featuring music by talented actor, writer and musician Tim Cook, the storyline was a mix of drama and songs.
Mark (Tim Cook) is lonely and misses his girlfriend. We get to hear his music when he practices for his gig that he has scheduled for the next day. This brings Tracy (Amani Zardoe) to his flat to complain about the noise as she is trying to work. Not the best start to their meeting especially when they end up keeping each other company following the blackout. Although they are strangers it appears that Tracy thinks Mark is a little bit of a loser.
Amani Zardoe gave a consistent and fully believable performance as the slightly neurotic Tracy, making her seem vulnerable and almost lovable. Generally, Tim Cook was spot on in his portrayal of Mark and his singing while playing the acoustic guitar was a great addition to the play.
The storyline is okay, but seemed to be lacking at times, leaving the audience to either be happy with it or to make their own minds up without sufficient information. For example, the blackout was potentially caused by aliens from Mark’s point of view, but the reason for it was never disclosed.
I admit that I am rather partial to closure and having everything tied up nicely with a bow so there are no “what if” type areas left. Blackout was humorous and something different from what you’d normally see. I think if there had been a little more exploration or explanation the play would have been better. There was time for it as it only ran for 70 minutes.
Review by Lee Cogger
Broken Silence Theatre presents…
BLACKOUT by Tim Cook
The new play by award-winning Royal Court Young Writer Tim Cook, comes to the Drayton Arms Theatre, after a sell-out run at Brighton Fringe. Blackout is a post-apocalyptic psychological thriller, featuring live acoustic music.
Synopsis: Set during a power cut in a block of flats, neighbours Mark and Tracy agree to keep each other company until their electricity returns. But when the sun doesn’t rise the next morning they suspect something more sinister is occurring. Is it the effect of global warming, a scientific experiment gone wrong, or something else entirely?
Mark Tim Cook
Tracy Amani Zardoe
Jason (voice) James Macauley
Hannah (voice) Lauren-Nicole Little
Writer Tim Cook
Director Paul Macauley
Sound Design Aran Knight
Art Design James Meikle
Music and Lyrics Tim Cook
6th-17th October, 2015 (8pm)
Drayton Arms Theatre, South Kensington.
153 Old Brompton Road, London, Greater London, SW5 0LJ