Through Rose Coloured Glasses draws you in with a playful scene that sets the nature of the relationship between best friends Sam and Taylor.  The play flicks back and forth between past and present ­ with hints of the trials they experienced as children/teenagers to the confrontation of how that impacted them as young adults.

As the show contains some powerful themes relating to mental health and abuse, this sets up several ‘reveals’ where they leave the nostalgia behind and acknowledge to each other how it really was.

The acting was very strong, you believed the characters ­ as young kids they were playful, as teenagers annoying, and as young adults slowly becoming self-aware.  The use of light
hearted, age relevant, pop culture references lightened the mood at the appropriate times, and several audience members found themselves nodding along in recognition at the
characters behaviours and reactions.

The venue creates an intimate experience with the minimal set used to the best effect. Every prop had a purpose and the actors used the space effectively to create safe spots for their characters in moments of tension.  This minimal idea carried through to the music, used sparingly it was never distracting and always served a purpose.  Good use is made of the lighting and voices in order to help the audience determine which time period we were in, but there were several times (especially in the first twenty minutes) where I was trying to figure out what age the characters were actually playing.­ This may have been deliberate, but I would have liked more hints and/or more obvious cues when switching.

There is a lot crammed into this play; friendship, loss, abuse, mental health issues, and addiction but with some strong acting and staging it plays out well in the end and avoids the easy cliches.

There are some excellent scenes and the friendship is played out effectively ending on an (almost) full circle.  Worth seeing.

Originally published at artmurmurs.nz on 18/02/2016.
Advertisements