THEATRE REVIEW: Unreachable ★★★★

Royal Court, London
5th July 2016

Watching a preview of a show will never stop being exciting for myself; it gives me a sense of mystery and wonder about going into a production with no press releases or shots from the show, and so going into this production through just clearly produced online material from the company has been one of the most innovative experiences I have had going to the theatre!

For this is Unreachable, a production Written and Directed by Anthony Neilson, and was created out of improvisation from the cast throughout rehearsals. Matt Smith, who portrays Director Maxim, has spoke in interviews saying Unreachable was a big risk to come into after Doctor Who, but judging by his performance in this unmissable production, it becomes clear that it was a risk being off.

The production started with Natasha (Tamara Lawrence) walking through the bare staging background to situate herself centre stage and give out a monologue, which we soon find out is an audition, for Maxim’s film ‘Child of Ashes’. Her presence on stage at this point and throughout the whole production is raw and captivating, so much that you can tell how much Lawrence is loving playing this unique role with the opportunity of crafting her character throughout the rehearsal process.

This can be said the same for the entire cast too, from smart producer Anastasia (Amanda Drew), temperamental cameramen Carl (Richard Pyro) and deaf sponsor to the film Eva (Genevieve Barr) who is brilliantly witty and funny, and ironically never misses a thing that goes on around the film crew.

But It really is the entrance and presence of Ivan (Jonjo O’Neill), nicknamed in shrouded mystery as ‘The Brute’ throughout the production, that really helps ramp up the tension with his hilarious anger and incredible one liners that really make you leave the theatre feeling you have got your money's worth. The chemistry Smith and O’Neill had on stage was electrifying as their characters had met before this films existence, and especially in the penultimate few minutes before the interval, where they both share an incredibly weird but satisfying stand of, that you really know just what kind of mad and brilliant production you are experiencing.

Overall, Unreachable is in every sense of the word Unmissable; not everything you see in theatre you completely have to understand, as I believe this one, but if you just sit back and let the action in front of you unfold on stage, then what will be produced is a production that will leave you wanting more from the characters portrayed on stage.


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