Subtitled “An argument and an architectural model,” Aussie playwright
Anthony Weigh’s short new play raises interesting issues and sticks to its
brief, but it gets off to an unconvincing start from which it never really
On a dark, rainy evening, an unnamed Mother, obviously not a townie, turns
up unannounced at the sleek offices of the architectural firm commissioned
to create a memorial to the young lives tragically lost when a gunman ran
riot in a rural church school.
Though she maintains that her daughter told
her to come, it soon becomes apparent that it is only an internal voice
which has prompted her to make the long bus journey to try to understand the
nature of the proposed structure.
Blind and with a profound faith, she is
the antithesis of Deborah Findlay’s well-groomed, sophisticated Architect
(concerned, professional but with her mind on the imminent presentation of
her design) who intends to conserve the schoolhouse – “like jam” – just as
The bereaved Mother wants the building to be razed to the ground
rather than remain as a monument for tourists to gape at.
The repetitious dialogue between the two rarely rings true and barely
scratches the surface of the religion versus reason argument which divides
them. But Lucy Osborne’s set convincingly restructures the intimate space,
whilst Phoebe Waller-Bridge does what she can with the underwritten role of
the Architect’s eager intern. And, finally, the closing image of the
Architect singing down the phone to her own child says more about motherhood
and loss than anything that has gone before.
Bush Theatre, Shepherds Bush Green, W12 8QD
Tube: Shepherds Bush tube
Until 10th July
£20 (Saturday matinees £15)
Review: Louise Kingsley