NT Live: Skylight ★★★★

National Theatre Live
Thursday 17th July 2014

The set is designed with a background of a block of flats, where in the foreground, is a set up of one of these flats, this one belonging to Kyra. It also has moveable walls that hide the bathroom area, but open up to show the walkway outside the flat.

The play begins with Kyra coming home from teaching, putting on a bath, and getting ready to make Tea, when Edward, Tom's Son, walks in whilst Kyra's back is turned, which makes her jump. Edward is there to say how bad his dad has been, ever since his mum, Tom's Wife, passed away to Cancer jut around a year ago.

The Chemistry between Carey and Matthew is really electric and they really work together and bounce off each other quite brilliantly, and Matthews constant change in emotion is so smooth and realistic, it just really makes the dialogue between him and Carey so professional and polished.

After Edward has walked out, Kyra starts to get in her bath, when suddenly there is a constant buzzing at Kyra's front door. Unsurprising, Tom is the one at the door, and storms in. From the dialogue spoken between the two, you really cannot take your eyes and ears away from the action taking place on the stage, as Carey's and Bill's constant bounce and chemistry is so unique and perfect, they really fit together and at times make you realise that these two on stage are only just acting, as its a top notch performance.

The dialogue goes from talking about their own ways of cooking spaghetti, their moving of houses, their work ethics, until the story changes to the emotional side of Alice's death, and Tom explaining the really reason why Kyra had to leave. It is also clear at this point that Tom had an affair with Kyra of 6 years, hidden from Alice. Act one finishes with Kyra running to Tom's arms after an argument, and implying that Tom can stay the night around Kyra's.

Act two opens up shortly following the end of act one, where it is implied Kyra and Tom have had intercourse, and Kyra is discussing her job as a teacher to Tom. He jokes about wanting to go on holiday with her to his 'Place in the Sun' and then a massive argument erupts about statuses of society, especially social workers, which Carey Mulligan gives what I think to be the best monologue, lasting a few minutes, and possibly the highlight of the play, just for the way that she interprets the piece with raw emotion, added with perfect pace and tone.

Tom tries to justify that it was Kyra's fault for leaving him when Alice found out about the affair, and this then leads to Kyra telling Tom about the holiday she had by herself, away from the holiday, and all the letters of passion she wrote to Tom, which is how Alice managed to find out about the affair.

This then follows into Kyra confessing she still loves Tom,but things can't be the same, leading to her calling Tom a taxi, which he leaves to, and then to finish off the play, Edward returns with a mysterious box, which is found to be a morning breakfast, just as Kyra said she missed about being in the family.

Skylight at first, before watching, had me a little skeptical about what to expect, but I believe now having seen the play, it is up there as one of the most realistic, powerful, heartfelt pieces of theatre I have ever seen. Mulligan, Nighy and Beard all play their respective roles perfectly and coming away from watching, it makes you think about life, and society, just that extra bit more.


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