Park Theatre (venue)
16 August 2018 (released)
23 August 2018
In the opening scene of Abigail Hood’s play (Spiral) a middle-aged man meets with a young woman dressed as a schoolgirl to act out a father-daughter role play. However, Tom’s (Adam Morris) reasons are more complex than perverse - he's hired Leah (played by Hood) due to her resemblance to his 15-year-old daughter, Sophie, who disappeared six months earlier.
Tom and his wife Gill (played by Tracey Wilkinson) are a couple at breaking point, devastated and bereft at the loss of their child. The play focuses on their relationship as well as Leah’s who is physically and mentally dominated by her boyfriend/pimp played expertly by Kevin Tomlinson. The scenes between them are difficult to watch at times, totally believable and fraught with tension. Despite being so mistreated by him, Leah clings to their relationship as it’s all she’s got.
Overall the play was competently produced, however I had a slight quibble with the transition between scenes being a little clunky and the music out of sync with the drama. And occassionally the plot is also a little far-fetched, particularly when Tom (a teacher at a nearby school) invites Leah to come and stay with him which unsurprisingly puts his relationship with Gill in dire straits.
Nevertheless, Hood’s writing is strongly played out by the cast of four who all delivered fantastic performances. Spiral will make you think, make you feel, and move you - which all good theatre should do.