CUT by Duncan Graham at The Vaults

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Winner of the Best Theatre award at Adelaide Fringe 2015 and the Underbelly Adelaide Award 2015, CUT flew in from Australia for its first London performances at the Vaults as part of London Wonderground. Written by Duncan Graham and performed by Hannah Norris this was a dark and quite strange one-woman thriller.

A woman is preparing for work; she is a flight attendant. A man with eyes the colour of ash appears on her flight and follows her through the story. Eventually things build to a dark climax as the man turns up at her house and tries to rape the woman before she burns him to death as he sleeps.

Set in the traverse in a room covered entirely in cling film, this play started well with total blackouts plunging us into the unknown having only the women’s voice or a single light to give us some sense of direction. The use of (no) lighting was extremely effective. There are not many times in normal life, even in bed, when there is a complete absence of light so this was extremely powerful.

The story jumped from the woman’s internal experience, to her professional persona she uses when on board a plane. Ultimately we found it hard to stay on track with this piece. It seemed like the blackouts dominated the narrative and we were hoping something much more dramatic or scary would happen, like another actor appearing, but alas he never did. The most interesting thing to happen physically was when she obscured the audiences view of the stage with cling-wrap.

Maybe I was not the right person for this show with my predisposition for horror and thrillers. Maybe it could never have lived up to my expectations. However, there was some very good writing in this piece, and it certainly gave a very honest insight into the life of a flight attendant. A very good performance from Hannah in this piece of theatre that certainly pushed theatrical boundaries, but didn’t quite push hard enough for us.

Highlight of the piece – The very first blackout…

WIGS 3/5

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