20th January 2018
Audrey Longman Studio, Brentwood Theatre
Type of Production
Lin Pollitt and Sara Thompson
Author: Andrew Rogers
Four short plays written by William Patterson were cleverly put together under the title Altered State. These pared back visions of four aspects of modern life were intriguing, amusing and thought-provoking. Characterisations were good throughout and every performer worked well with their fellow actors to get all they could from the script. Relationships were believable and the situations in each playlet generally accessible. Timing and movement was good, but then so was stillness, which is an underrated skill and vital in short scenes such as these, to give variety. Stage violence in a confined space presents lots of challenges and it was managed well. Resting was the funniest of the pieces and Dearly Beloved, being the longest, alllowed that extra depth in the performances to develop and was the most satisfactory playlet, for me. However, all four pieces combined well together to give an unusual take on the world we live in today.
Simple staging was most effective in this intimate performing space and a combination of a modern and even futuristic sound plot and simple lighting enhanced your performances. Despite the immediacy of the audience, the performers were all nicely separated behind the fourth wall. The staging and performances are to be commended; it was a memorable and enjoyable evening.