Monday, 16 April 2012
Theatre review: Black T-Shirt Collection
Thierry Lawson directs Ellams on a plain black set in a truncated Cottesloe, with sparing use of cartoonish projections to help tell the story. It's a very gentle, sometimes moving tale as the brothers' priorities in life start to change and diverge, and the author remains a very likeable, softly-spoken performer. Perhaps too softly-spoken though: His voice can verge on the soporific (indeed there were, briefly, loud snores from one audience member) and his writing is better at differentiating the story's various characters than his perfromance is. I thought a couple of shocking moments were a bit overdone and not quite in keeping with the rest of the piece, but Black T-Shirt Collection is a likeable, clearly heartfelt story, that could have done with a bit more gusto in the actual performance.
Black T-Shirt Collection by Inua Ellams is booking in repertory until the 24th of April at the National Theatre's Cottesloe.
Running time: 1 hour 20 minutes straight through.