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Review of Reckless at The Rose Playhouse

RecklessIn the mid-constructed Rose Theatre Playhouse near Southbank, there is a production happening that brings every corner of this interesting venue to new life. Reckless, a story of love and the sea, shows us interesting characters, dramatic plot and unique visuals.

Reckless is a one-act play based on a harbour where a father is over-protective and controlling with his son due to the tragic loss of the boy’s mother at an early age. The boy seems lost and restricted at the helm of his father but soon find a reason to change his circumstances when he comes across a girl whom he falls for.

Reckless sits perfectly in the unusual terrain placed in the current Rose Playhouse, using every corner and level, turning it into a most spectacular harbour set. Luke Pajak’s sound design mixed with Jon Buckeridge’s live music assists the show in its emotional peaks and continues to be a highlight throughout. Direction, excluding travelling and spacing, seems minimal and the tight cast are able to trust and work together in their interpretations. The whole cast support each other throughout and there is no weak link.

Rebecca Rogers leads the plot as the enthusiastic Harbour Master and by also being the writer and co-director of the production, she approaches her character with certainty and becomes instantly likeable to the audience. The Boy (played by Simon Rodda) is a character that the audience very quickly empathise with and Rodda delivers a moveable innocence which is most effective in scenes up close with his audience. He is at his best when alongside Alison Tennant’s Girl, who together strongly demonstrate a young blossoming love. The relationship that Rodda’s character has with his father (Blake Kubena) could do with slight polishing or slightly longer scenes to explore their conflicts together. Kubena’s role is strong and powerful but never gets the chance to hit much of an emotional peak. If the play was lengthened ever so shortly around its climax, Kubena could get a chance to really shine.

The more comedic role of Lighthouse Keeper (played by Edward Bijl) is instantly likeable due to Bijl’s charm and natural charisma but still leaves as the least explored character and someone that the audience want to see more of.

Rogers worked closely with the Rose Playhouse and wrote this script specifically to fit around the theatre’s space, despite having the idea for the show years before. After returning from the Edinburgh festival, the company had a small amount of time to make this show a reality, but you never would have thought it. The script is very well constructed and it allows characters to all be equally understood and examined by the audience, while at the same time keeps the plot moving steadily. It is still somewhat considered a show ‘in the works’ so there’s always the possibility of expansion.

For those interested in unique and good theatre, this is a show to get down, see and support. I know that I probably won’t see anything quite like this again. And finally, even if this doesn’t seem like your sort of show, please visit the venue anyway. Learn about its incredible history and contribute to its planned expansion. This venue is worth the interest.

4 stars

Review by Tomm Ingram

Presented by Heady Conduct Theatre Company
September 3, 2015 – September 27, 2015
Shoulders rounded against the storm, he strides along the wind ripped shore, clothes snapping around him like the sails of a storm-borne ship. He searches, he shouts, but the sea has caught him out once again.”

An Old Man who lost his love to the sea, brings up his son to fear it. When the unexpected washes up on their shore, time worn secrets begin to unwind.

Reckless is an epic story of outrageous love and forbidden joy, exploring the timeless matters of the heart. Inspired by the great works of classical drama, Heady Conduct has blended elements of Greek and Elizabethan storytelling into this original piece of theatre.

Heady Conduct Theatre is excited to be working with The Rose Playhouse, Bankside. Situated in the heart of Southwark, this historic theatre was hosting new, innovative work 400 years ago. Heady Conduct are proud to be continuing this tradition with Reckless.

Running time is around an hour with no interval

Friday 18th September 2015


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