Proof at Hope Mill
In his directorial debut, Hope Mill Theatre’s Co-Artistic Director Joseph Houston directs David Auburn’s award winning play Proof with aplomb. Proof is a passionate, intelligent story about fathers and daughters, the nature of genius, and the power of love; challenging mental illness and the patriarchal impact on the family. Over time, proof of a mathematical theorem is found, but proving who wrote that proof threatens to tear down relationships.
Lucy Jane Dixon is excellent as daughter Catherine faced with the prospect of inheriting her father’s illness as well as his genius – one of the most natural stage performances I have seen in some time; Sam Holland also puts in a strong performance as love interest Hal. Both actors impress throughout.
Frank Gerrard’s beautiful, atmospheric design makes the most of the space; I particularly liked the garden tree representing the changing of the seasons. The first act felt a little long, not helped by long pauses between scenes whilst we waited for costume changes; Houston needs to think about how to fill those moments, but that aside the direction worked well.
This first in-house non-musical creation at Hope Mill is a successful production. Excellent design, strong leads and overall smooth direction offer a glimpse into the world of a mathematical genius.
By Garry Thomas-Lowde for Canal St Online
Hope Mill Theatre: November 27th – December 2nd 2018
Details and tix are here