The play talks about the growing suicide rates in the UK. The statistic that 2014 saw 4,600 male suicide cases in the UK is cited in the play by Daniel Foxsmith. Do not come to a conclusion that suicide is the main theme of the Snuff Box production but it talks about the emotional battles waged by men. The play revolves around two men Jim and Sam. Jim, a 25-year-old comes to the rural stables for work and Sam; a middle-aged man accepts his company, and the two together have a great time, playing darts, taking care of the horses and laughing at the neighbours solar panels.
The stage is set in the twenty-first century and is a perfect depiction of how the two feel worthless. Jim left a girl pregnant in London and Sam was abandoned by his wife for not able to produce children. The role of Jim is depicted by Dan Parr and despite his best try, he is unable to portray the worthlessness in his character. David Crellin plays the role of Sam and is unfit for the farmer but prefers reading local history. It may be a little weird to note interest in history for a local horse raiser. They make a fantastic pair, not to forget that one is vulnerable without the other. Their father-son dynamics is worth a watch.
But the violent climax is totally uncalled for the script that was so balanced. The violence at the climax comes as a surprise to the audience despite the tempered script. Sam moves into verbosity and the final scenes hardly blend with the initial scenes. The play talks about complex emotions and painful subjects but, unfortunately, the duo was unable to manage with the fluency expected for the role.
Escaped Alone is a play about four elderly women who stop for a chit chat over a cup of tea at the garden. The chatting revolves around past life, friends and family and their fears. Four women, Vi played by June Watson who kills her husband, Sally depicted by Deborah Findlay is scared of cats; Lena essayed by Kika Markham is unable to leave her backyard. Then there is a new member Mrs Jarret, who walks out of the garden in the void. The play is cited to be the most brilliant in this year and is a complete piece. The play is 50 minutes long and seems to a lot longer. Some are funny and some sad. Sentences like Pets rained from the Sky and “It’s better to be in the empty room because there are fewer things that mean nothing at all” are some of the instances.
The characters have fit the bill perfectly. Each elderly woman has done a great job of acting fulfilling their roles to perfections. These older women are funny, mischievous, connected to the modern world, talking of quantum Physics and iPlayer. Sometimes disturbing like the character of Bassett offering monologue of rage. Despite the play being euphoric with apocalyptic foretelling yet Churchill has made the funniest play ever since Serious Money with the ability to turn light from darkness. The sets are great thanks to the designer Miriam Buether for the bright garden that turns cloudy as the play moves on. The women under the background of the set are unconquerable.
The scene where the women sang Da Doo Ron Ron, The Crystal’s hit was a memorable one. The question that arises in the minds of audience indicates, what this entirely means. Does it mean how Bassetts monologues are directed towards the world outside the walls or how Churchill predicts the future to be? Whatever the women are directed to or Churchill is trying to convey, the chat in the garden seems to be an enjoyable experience. The conversation though set casually it is a consortium of glow and resistive of the happening in the dark outside world beyond the garden.