As part of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea's City Living Local Life initiative, local community reporter Stan Moorcroft reviewed our production of In the Night Time (Before the Sun Rises). We are delighted about this fantastic opportunity for local residents to become more involved with our theatre. Read his review below.
Following in the footsteps of the extraordinarily powerful Medea, The Gate have again produced an exceptionally intense and powerful drama centred upon the intimacy and claustrophobia of the nuclear family in Nina Segal’s In the Night Time (Before the Sun Rises), ‘proper night time, proper middle of the night, night time…’ For when we have ceased all activity darkness falls and a space is created for the fears to flood in.
Segal presents a world of agonised sleeplessness, of a man and woman driven to the edge by the cries of their new born baby. Outside it is dark, but the couple are only too aware of both all the banal, and terrible, things that are going on in the vast outer world surrounding their tortured intimacy. The crying child is central to the room, to the relationship, to the action that threatens to destroy their relationship. For the child’s cries deprive the couple not only of sleep but their sense of security and confidence in the strength of the two-person relationship they have stablished in the face of external threats and the needs of the child. Though the play is replete with enough wit and irony to lighten the intensity of the experience.
The idea that it is possible to escape the existential threats presented by the modern world into the safety and security of intimate romantic love is perhaps the most potent myth of the last hundred years. “He'll build a little home, that's meant for two, from which I'll never roam, who would, would you?” *
Few events are likely to challenge this ideal as much as the responsibility of bringing a child into this world. Segal’s play explores both the strengths and weaknesses of this model of human relationships in this context, with great humour and intelligence. The play raises important questions about responsibility and commitment, providing no easy or pat answers.
Adelle Leonoe as Woman provides a performance of great intensity exploring both her own fragility and hunger for life, both for herself and her child. Whilst Alex Waldmann as Man presents his struggle with the real and imagined expectations of masculinity and his inability to control the situation.
This is a play that packs a great deal into 80 minutes and will leave you departing into Pembridge Road reeling under the impact of a profound and sometimes disturbing play.
*Gershwin, The Man I Love.
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