THEATRE REVIEW: Mosquitoes ★★★★

The National Theatre, London
Saturday 5th August 2017

I remember being on the playground on the morning that the Large Hadron Collider was first switched on; everyone was checking their watches and soon breathing a sigh of relief that the apocalypse hadn't arrived - back then it was a mix of excitement and nervousness, and somehow 9 years later sat inside the Dorfman Theatre at The National, I once again feel that same motion, but just with a touch more excitement this time.

With such an extensive background to her career, Lucy Kirkwood brings together a story about family, trust and battling your darkest demons, with her latest production, Mosquitoes. With Olivia Coleman and Olivia Williams taking the title roles of Jenny and Alice, having chemistry on stage is vital more than ever when tackling with a story about a dysfunctional family through the eyes of these sisters; Jenny (Coleman) is a mother who has just lost her child prior to the start of the story, whereas Alice has a teenage son, Luke (Joseph Quinn), who she raises alone whilst being a scientist, working on the Hadron Collider in Geneva, where this production is mainly set. Coleman and Williams are equally incredible in their roles, completely embodying the characters given to them with complete conviction and ease to the raw emotion that they have to fight with in every performance they will give within the run of the production. Joseph Quinn (Luke) and Sophia Barclay (Natalie), who is Luke's love interest, engage an initial spark which constantly ignites throughout the whole duration, right up until a moment in the second act where, without giving too much away, will have you feel so much anger towards one of these characters due to the incredibly well written characters that Kirkwood brings to this production.

Paul Hilton returns to The National in a role not hugely a million miles away from the title role of Peter Pan, which I saw him in most recently at The National on the Olivier Stage, but still continues to impress me with the delivery of his character in this production, which once again should not be spoiled - though not constantly the centre of attention, his sequences, especially the one in which he counts down the top 5 ways the world could end, will stick most predominantly in your mind right after the performance has ended.

It would be a shame not to just briefly mention the stunning visuals in this production; Finn Ross and Ian Galloway have but together such a unique and awe-inspiring piece of video design masterpiece, and should really be credited for their tremendous efforts in blowing me away right from the beginning of this production.

Overall, Mosquitoes is an absolute must see this summer at The National due to the sheer excellence that excels on stage from all involved, right through to every individual backstage who has helped transport the audience back to the year of 2008, but especially also to Geneva, in a incredible piece of theatre!


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