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Review of Gazing At A Distant Star – Greenwich Theatre Studio

Victoria Porter and Harpal Hayer in Gazing At A Distant Star, Greenwich Theatre, photographer credit Warren King (huffington)
Victoria Porter and Harpal Hayer in Gazing At A Distant Star, Greenwich Theatre, photographer credit Warren King (huffington)

The moments in life when you’re lost and unanswered questions linger on – those immensely haunting moments shine in Gazing At A Distant Star.

In Greenwich Theatre’s Gazing At A Distant Star, we hear about the silly moments, the party nights, and the celebrations before the heartache sets in. Siân Rowland’s writing alters our understanding of who we are and what we know. When two people go missing, family and friends struggle with finding clarity and understanding in their disappearance.

The play, directed by James Haddrell, started slowly as each character took his or her time to tell their interpretation of a story. This time given to each character developed and built a relationship with the audience. The time invested was evident when we were near to tears watching Victoria Porter’s performance as Karen. A mother confused and hurt by the disappearance of her son, Porter trembles as she screams in anger and shrinks in shame.

Rowland’s writing takes us on two other journeys that intertwine and connect Arun and Anna to Karen. Harpal Hayer and Serin Ibrahim’s captivating performances took the audience to a new state of loneliness as their stories unfolded.

It’s impossible to overlook Lizzy Gunby’s lighting design. With her View-Master reel-like lighting, the audience was given significant snapshots of the three stories. This choice made it clear about the start and stop of each narrative and directed the mood of the upcoming scenes.

Gazing At A Distant Star is more than a story about two people who have gone missing. The intimacy of the black box space makes it a production of shared understanding. The story lingers in all of us as we try to find reasoning in the hurt within our own lives.

4 stars

Review by Aly Chromy

The world premiere of a moving new play about those who go missing, and those who are left behind.
Arun works in a call centre, desperately trying to save the money to go to university.

Anna trains for the 5k she never thought she wanted to run. Karen works at a hardware store and tries to work out where it all went wrong…
Three lives intersect, three people struggle to cope with loss, to reach out and find the light beyond.
World premiere production, written by RED Women’s Theatre Award shortlisted writer Sian Rowland.

Fri 13-Sun 29 January 2017

Crooms Hill
London SE10 8ES
http://greenwichtheatre.org.uk/

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