Mind’s a Labyrinth
Mind’s a Labyrinth
The upstairs ballroom at Gullivers in the Northern Quarter provides an intimate home for New Live Theatre Company’s latest production - Mind’s a Labyrinth. Running for 4 performances prior to a date in the Lowry Studio, the play is both written and directed by Stevie Helps.
Previously performed at Hope Mill Theatre under the title Borderline Electra, this dark melodrama explores the troubled life and relationships of Rachel (Nadia Dilamy) who suffers with a Borderline Personality Disorder, and includes themes of domestic abuse, mental health, deceit, consequences, hope, love, trauma... and a fish called Bertie.
There are strong performances by David Lamont as the vile Stuart and Graham Atkin as the polite, slightly fey Elliot. Linda Edwards seemed generally confused, and embarrassingly fluffed the important last line of the script. Much needed humour is provided by Linda Meacher in her all too short waitress cameo.
The pace is slow at times, and I would prefer to see this without an interval and the length cut to 90 minutes - the detective scenes lost me completely. The undoubted highlight of the evening was the live acoustic music hauntingly performed by Lizzie Tupman between scenes, however these interludes need to work closer with the action and not be standalone moments.
This is a story of taboo subjects, shocking one minute, predictable the next. Whilst there are challenging moments within the play, I was left wondering whether I really cared for any of the characters. They all had their demons and moments of weakness; they all had their own reasons for doing what they did; they all deserved what they ultimately got.
By Garry Thomas-Lowde for Canal St Online.
Gullivers Ballroom, 109 Oldham Street: Sept 27th 2016
Lowry Studio Theatre: November 8th 2016