Home » London Theatre Reviews » When Sarah Arrives at the White Bear Theatre | Review

When Sarah Arrives at the White Bear Theatre | Review

When Sarah Arrives does precisely what it says on the tin. It is a show with entertaining emotional and physical combat and some good moments of acting but certainly won’t blow your mind.

When Sarah ArrivesTwo men sit and wait for someone who never comes, sound familiar? Well, this strangely Beckettian piece is undoubtedly fun. The two men stand, sit and prance around, pretending to threaten to kill each other until the plumbing wreaks havoc on the status quo. Throughout the play, there is a playful unbalancing of power and a comedic outpouring of dramatic gestures which come to nothing. The writers (Joseph Ryan-Hughes and Connor McCrory) are deserving of credit in this regard.

For context, the two men are waiting for the elusive Sarah, who was married to one and is having an affair with the other. Within their arguments is intensely fragile masculinity, and it comes out through what is a compelling play, and on a technical point, there is an eloquent coming together of what the writer has set up and what the director (Macadie Amaroso) and what the players do with this. The result is amusing. Vital comedic timing and good chemistry on stage make this very entertaining to watch. Both Conor McCrory (Adam) and Joseph Ryan Hughes (Matt) know how to land a good joke but lack in the physical comedy department, and there was certainly a lot left half-baked here.

This is where my main criticism of the show is born out. Both the actors, when together, play off each other very well. However, when they are on their own, the empty stage appears to terrify them, and as a result, they over-act beyond the exaggerated characters they have constructed. At times both the actors are cagey and provide far too much when less is often more. And this show is a testament to how important it is to leave some things unsaid and not hand it all to the audience. The points made were interesting, but they were so heavy-handed and repetitive that they lost their nuance.

Design by (Laura Mugford) is certainly nothing transcendent. It is minimal realism and services what the actors are doing but does not push beyond that.

Fun, witty, but not particularly deft, When Sarah Arrives does nothing new, but what it does do, it does very well and is a good watch.

3 Star Review

Review by Tom Carter

It’s what we do. It’s what men do.
Adam, young and married to his childhood sweetheart, anxiously awaits an arrival from his wife and her lover to discuss the future, and although he doesn’t know it yet, a divorce.

A sixty-minute one-act play with exploding toilets, spilt tea, burnt pizza, and a whole lot of toxic masculinity from two very unmanly men.

Connor McCrory and Joseph Ryan-Hughes
Directed by Macadie Amoroso
Designed by Laura Mugford

the blind mice Presents
When Sarah Arrives
from Connor McCrory & Joseph Ryan-Hughes

13 Jul 2021 – 17 Jul 2021
https://www.whitebeartheatre.co.uk/

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