The Rotunda is an intimate theatre space which enhances the minimalist setting of this theatre piece written by Louis Cavalier who also plays Daniel alongside his co-performer Ava Dodsworth as Alice.
The play begins when Daniel reluctantly finds himself in a rehabilitation centre and a voice starts speaking to him through the wall. This voice turns out to be that of another patient, Alice, and the pair are understandably distrustful of one another to begin with but eventually strike up an unlikely friendship as they bond over their shared treatment.
The pair never actually see one another face to face since they’re on the border of two different wards and building below their banter is a critical difference in attitude towards their treatment. Daniel is clearly lacking faith since he feels he is being treated like a child, a stark reminder of when he was dismissed from conversations regarding his parents divorce in his early teens, which is the very reason he started drinking. Whilst on the other hand, Alice follows the 12 steps religiously and is more than happy to surrender herself to the cause since she has always struggled to function in the outside world and often felt aimless so being at the centre gives her a sense of belonging to the point where she doesn’t want to leave.
With the audience being so physically close to the performers means that they have to be totally committed to their performance. Cavalier and Dodsworth achieve this well and you become pulled into the space with them.
My only criticism is that I wanted the performance be longer in order that their stories could be more deeply explored, particularly that of Alice. We want to know more of her story that has brought her there.
The play has one more showing at Brighton Fringe on 8th May before moving on to Camberwell next week so make your way to The Rotunda Theatre in Regency Square, Brighton BN1 2FG and catch this fascinating performance.
The Rotunda Theatre in Regency Square, Brighton BN1 2FG
Date : 6th to 8th May 2023
Start Time: 16:45
Duration: 40 mins