Blink, a story of awkward and unconventional love, follows two young adults who have both lost someone to pancreatic cancer. Jonah (Tom Myles) moves into a flat below Sophie (Gwenllian Higginson) and after the stalking and confessions; Sophie starts a relationship with him, but it inevitably all ends badly. The play was written by Phil Porter, directed by Dan Jones and co-produced by; Critical Ambition, a Swansea-based theatre company founded by Tom Myles and Dan Jones; Volcano Theatre Company; and The Other Room.
The thing that stood out in this play for me was that there were only two actors playing many different parts. Tom Myles always had this spooked look about him that gave an indication that he was an outsider. His voice, paired with the script, made me think that the character may have been slightly mentally unstable, and Myles portrayed the character perfectly. Gwenllian Higginson always seemed in control of her character and if she messed up a few of her lines, she would recover quickly and always stayed in character.
The development of the relationship between the characters is portrayed beautifully. There is a boy watching a girl and they eventually fall in love – a simple notion layered with many complexities that is displayed perfectly. The distance of the audience to the stage really helps to portray the relationship and places the audience amongst the intimacy. Higginson never looked Myles in the eyes to start with and you immediately knew that she was more to him, than he was to her. They end by being very close and the way they interact with each other really demonstrates this.
The style of the stage design was very minimalistic. To start with, there was just a white wall with a few stone bricks in the corner and a dustbin on the floor. The set was changed by the actors moving the wall around, and revealing two bunk beds which represented the two flats the characters lived in. The actors used the stage a lot as they pulled objects out of the bin such as placards and a bag and were on the beds a lot of the time. This interaction with the stage made the show a much more enjoyable experience.
The lighting was very creative and added a lot to the show. For example, to show that the characters were watching television, dark blue lights would flicker, giving the effect of a television. The lighting also changed in accordance to the time of day which really helped me to understand the time in which everything occurred.
In conclusion, this show was absolutely amazing. The acting was top-notch and the directing and production of the show made it all the more better. The only words my friend and I could say after watching it was “Wow”, “Amazing” and “Phenomenal.”
Blink is running in The Other Room Theatre at Porter’s until November 19th, get your tickets here
*Image credit: Aenne Pallasca*