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Review: Wild East

TFTV's latest offering 'Wild East' is a captivating piece which kept the intimate venue on tenterhooks throughout. Lucie Parker reviews. (Thumbnail credit (c)Wild East)

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Venue: TFTV Rehearsal Room
Rating: 4 Stars

Wild East, a production filled with bitterness and humour from the outset, gives the audience an insight into the interview of Frank by two women of mysterious character. From the beginning we question the identity and motives of all three characters, picking up on hints in the dialogue that are blended within the framework of brutal humour and strong language. As the play unravels the plot becomes more twisted and takes on an entirely unpredictable nature, resulting in a dramatic climax that creates the desire to understand what we were teased with throughout. Yet this desire is left completely unsatisfied.

The set design worked perfectly, setting out an interview room surrounded by cameras from every angle and a projector screen running CCTV images on a loop throughout. As well as heightening the paranoid tensions that the play portrayed, the set gave the audience the chance to interact within this bizarrely hostile environment. We played the Big Brother role that the cameras insinuated, watching and judging the every move of the actors throughout. With such a strong prop presence however, the rest of the set could have been stripped back slightly to retain the emphasis on the cameras and their meaning.

The actors themselves created a superb stage presence from the start that only grew stronger, with Frank in particular capturing the volatile dynamics of his character perfectly. The script was powerful and the acting matched, yet there were points where it needed to be reined back to maintain the realistic high and low crescendos of human behaviour. An intriguing play that left the audience captivated throughout and baffled after.

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