City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Secret Window Secret Garden Review

By Garry Platt - Posted on 08 August 2011

Show details
The Lincoln Company
Running time: 
Naomi McCarthy (Director ) Kevin Mitchell and Company (Adaptation)
Luke Venneear, Jamie Evans, Caroline Lamb, Ross Ellis, Amy Szypusz

This is a Steven King story which has been adapted into a short 50 minute play. The storyline has an interesting twist but as a play it feels like a quart has been desperately squeezed into a pint pot. For the purposes of getting the play into less than an hour there appears to have been some streamlining and over simplification of characters and narrative.

The actors have no time to establish who are what they are and from the opening scene we are launched like a bullet leaving a gun into a confrontational scene which is not particularly convincing and the dialogue and delivery style cliched. The lead role of the writer, Mort, who's predicament we watch seems completely unsympathetic and consequently I couldn't muster much concern for his situation.

As the 50 minutes roles out scenes are played holding together a thin storyline, this is made worse by the characters which are one dimensional almost stereotypical; there's the depressed agonised writer, the mysterious threatening stranger, the good wife with a heart of gold and the best buddy.

Without wishing to give anything away the twist in the story when revealed simply becomes an explanation for previous confusion rather than a dramatic revelatory moment. I felt the actors were swimming upstream against unconvincing scenes and poorly written dialogue. They also faced a whole bevy of ignoramuses arriving up to 15 minutes late, noisily clacking their way down a long corridor entrance and then standing like deer caught by headlights in the doorway while they surveyed for a suitable spot to drop their weary asses. This is not the actor's or the writer's fault, but you try building up dramatic tension while that's taking place to one side. In the end it was a luke warm performance which was greeted by polite luke warm applause.

Show times 3 to the 29 August, 12:15 (13:05)

Ticket prices £6.50-£9.50