Home » London Theatre Reviews » Out of Step at The Drayton Arms Theatre | Review

Out of Step at The Drayton Arms Theatre | Review

Out of Step at The Drayton Arms TheatreThe programme for Out Of Step, by Untied Productions, presents a dichotomy. It is professionally designed and printed, on good quality paper, but rather than being neatly bound it is held together with staples. The theme of great potential baffled by lack of attention to detail extends, unfortunately, to the production itself.

The scenario is promising. A dysfunctional stepfamily comes together to bid farewell to their family home, which is being sold. Over the course of a few hours, secrets will be revealed, prejudices will be challenged, and relationships will be tested to the utmost.

The first problem is that the plot twist happens almost at the beginning of the play. I’m not sure that it even qualifies, semantically, as a plot twist if there hasn’t yet been a plot to twist. All subsequent revelations seem pale and uninteresting in the shadow of this bombshell, and energy levels drop accordingly as the play progresses.

This is partly due to the dialogue, which is a frustrating mixture of razor-sharp wit, perceptive human insight and stilted, over-long rambling. There is a fine line between natural dialogue and haphazard meandering, and this line was repeatedly crossed by the actors, who on occasion went around in circles so much that they appeared to have forgotten their lines. Maybe they had. That would explain why the production was twenty minutes shorter than billed.

It wasn’t all bad. The set was simple yet ingenious, and the direction, by Hamish Clayton, was well-paced and punchy. There were some excellent performances from the cast, notably from actor/producer Esme Lonsdale as pouty Georgia, Eoin McKenna as the melodramatic Edward and Georgina Armfield as uptight Jenny. Sadly, no amount of acting prowess could make up for the fact that the characters as written are fragile, hollow things with no emotional depth to keep us rooting for them. Maybe removing one of the siblings from the scenario altogether would help – it would free up some time which could then be spent exploring the other characters in more detail.

Because there is potential in Out Of Step. The bones of the story are intriguing, the actors have flashes of brilliance and the characters are interesting enough to deserve a chance to shine. I hope that Untied Productions put the necessary work in to take this piece further; if they do, I’d like to come back and see what they’ve done with it.

2 gold stars

Review by Genni Trickett

Out of Step is about a dysfunctional stepfamily, who are saying goodbye to their family home. It is a touching comedy exploring nostalgia and rivalry, with a shocking plot twist.

As the siblings gather together for the final farewell, hidden secrets are revealed as we see how the family dynamic shifts. An extension to the family may ruin their mother’s dream of a perfect gathering. The audience are asked questions about stigma, young relationships and generational differences.

Run Time:
Act One: 50 mins
Act Two: 35 mins
Age Restrictions: 12+

Booking to 2nd February 2019
Drayton Arms Theatre
153 Old Brompton Road
London, SW5 0LJ
https://www.thedraytonarmstheatre.co.uk

Author

  • Genni Trickett

    Genni is one of the senior reviewers for LondonTheatre1.com, contributing regularly with reviews for London and regional shows. Genni has been passionate about theatre from an early age, performing in various productions throughout school and university. She is currently an enthusiastic member of an amateur dramatic society in South West London. Her favourite thing about living in London is the breath-taking variety of shows and theatrical talent. https://www.facebook.com/genevieve.trickett

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