GT Stage

Review - Hidden

Six people. Six ordinary lives. One thing in common. They're all hiding something.

‘Hidden’ explores the lives and loves - and secrets - of six characters struggling to survive in a modern urban environment. What is Nina waiting for in the ladies toilet? Will Colin manage to resist his murderous impulses? Will Claire ever get what she craves above all else - some cock?

This new play is by Laura Lindsay and Peter Carruthers, who, in addition to taking on authorial duties, also play all the parts themselves – each taking on three of the six roles. The result is a series of loosely interlinking character portraits that, whilst strong in themselves, somehow don’t quite seem to add up to anything particularly significant or profound beyond the sum of its parts. There’s still plenty of entertainment to be had, however, in enjoying each individual vignette on its own merits, rather than holding out for a more satisfying whole - viewing the piece more as slapdash sketch-show than sagacious saga.

Lindsay and Carruthers are both skilled performers, each giving us a solid selection of pleasingly prismatic personas. Lindsay in particular has a talent for making us forget that it’s only one actress that we’ve been watching, so consummately contrasting are her poles-apart performances. We especially enjoyed her turn as Claire, the cock-craving supermarket employee, whose cruel fate is to spend her days stacking shelves with condoms and lube that she believes are destined to see more action than she will before their use-by date of 2016. Carruthers too provides plenty of memorable moments – none more so than the cracking opening in which he reveals rather more than just his innermost thoughts… And his recounting of Gareth’s erotic dream is a pitch-perfect piece of comic carnality.

Sometimes the procession of portraitures feels a little like a series of audition pieces, but ones that we were happy to sit in judgement of - on account of them all being really rather good, and, for the most part, satisfyingly surprising, despite not dovetailing as delicately as they could.

It’s a yes from us, but we’d like to see these talents deployed in something with a little more meaning next time.

GT gives this a 3/5

Hidden is currently on tour until 23rd May. See Hidden Play's website for more details.

Words: Richard Unwin

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