Sunday, 27 July 2014
Theatre review: 17
A lot of plays can get bogged down in exposition, but if anything 17 could have done with a bit more as, despite some decent dialogue and good performances, the plot's overshadowed by questions about how the situation came about in the first place: Given the hoops people have to jump through to adopt a child, how come Scott was given to a, presumably single, woman who seems to have exclusively fed him on a diet of chips? Does an adoptive parent's death really mean the child gets dropped back on the birth mother's doorstep? There's less than two years' age difference between Scott and Leo, so just how quickly did Lisa go from desperate 17-year-old giving away her baby, to comfortably middle-class married woman pregnant with a, this time wanted, second child?
Emma Faulkner's production takes place around a central kitchen unit, which in Bethany Wells' design breaks apart in the second act in an obvious, but effective, reflection of the fracturing family dynamic. But this does mean that in order to dismantle the set an interval has been inserted into the short play, interrupting the flow and leaving more time to ponder over the plot holes.
17 by Dameon Garnett is booking in repertory until the 29th of July at the Finborough Theatre (returns only.)
Running time: 1 hour 35 minutes including interval.