This play, Madhouse, was like being in a student house, chaotic and disruptive.
The setting is a kitchen table and the themes explored include the usual travails of student life, pregnancy, sexual orientation confusion, debt, self harm and the ultimate crime of student communal living, sleeping with a fellow flat mate.
At times amusing with good performances on the whole the play was slightly disjointed, perhaps because it was a student flat and trying to cover a long time period.
The scene changes and subject changes felt at times rather clunky and lacked fluidity.
The co-mingly of stories was contrived except for the latent and ultimately fulfilled love affair between Ollie and Annie, both these roles were well acted and the outstanding performance of the play.
The subjects tackled were too numerous for such a short play and dealt with superficially. If there had been fewer of them and studied in more detail this would have been a more impressive performance.
Although serious matters were tackled they were disarmed with humour that sometimes worked and sometimes didn’t with the humour coming over in a rather flippant fashion.
But then again that may be my age as it was clear there was an age divided amongst the audience, the younger participants of the audience with the most recent memory of student life were laughing uproariously.
The crumugeoned ones of us where student life lives blurrily in the dark shadows of our past laughed but laughed a little less. The age divide lives on!
Madhouse the space@Surgeons Hall – Bevan theatre