This play will have you at ‘Hello’… as long as you pay attention!!
‘Hello’ - the first word uttered in Chris Thorpe’s play, ‘Victory Condition’ – is addressed not between the two characters on stage (who are not actually named throughout the piece until the very last moment when the ‘male’ turns to, whom we assume to be his wife, and says… “Oh, Sharon…” which is actually when the play ends) but rather to the silenced and waiting audience and from that moment we are taken on a journey of modern day life. Two people, living and sharing a space yet still finding their own rhythm and meaning to their existence. Well, this is where the action took us… the dialogue, was a little bit more challenging to keep up with.
At first I thought the text, brought to life in long sets of monologues switching between the two cast members, was simply talking of love, life, relationships and connections but you soon realise it is so much more. Taking each their turn, they seem to be speaking of human-kinds connection with our shared universe. They seem to also speak of their work experiences (hers seems to be in an office whilst his seems to be as some form of military personnel??) and how this has effected them.
Please don’t misunderstand the unsure tone of my review as the play really does draw you in but it does require an exceptional amount of concentration and attention as the cast are moving about the space (set out as a typical apartment in a newly developed complex) building the image of the ‘perfect marriage’ which is both fascinating to watch as it is somewhat distracting from what is being said as dialogue and action do not, at any point, relate to each other. You could almost put the dialogue and action on two completely different platforms and each would stand alone as a watchable piece of theatre.
Written by Chris Thorpe and Directed by Vicky Featherstone.
Picture courtesy of Helen Murray
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