Entropy (2 stars)

This article is from 2018


Overheated writing weighs down an otherwise intriguing concept

The set-up of Jennifer Roslyn Wingate's two-hander is simple: Sam arrives unannounced on Barbara's doorstep and demands to be let inside. As they hash out the details of their fraught history, Sam and Barbara engage in a rapid-fire exchange of recriminations, threats, word play, innuendo and tenderness – gradually revealing the details of their dark and complicated history.

The pacing of their descent into the black corners of their memories is precise, and its depiction of childhood trauma – especially when victims grapple with feelings of love and hate towards those complicit in their pain – is moving. Lewis Bruniges is compelling as Sam, veering erratically between childish indignation and true menace. Unfortunately, Katharine Drury is given much less to work with as Barbara, and her silent, taut figure is lost amidst Bruniges' rages.

This leaves the play unbalanced; by the second half, there is the sense of things spinning in circles. The dialogue is also clunky at times, with characters lapsing into Latinate legal jargon and obscure terminology, that only serves to take the audience out of the moment. Though Entropy convincingly explores the very worst of what humans can do to one another, it ultimately fails to fulfil its ambitions.

Underbelly, Bristo Square, until 27 Aug (not 13), £11 (£10).


  • 2 stars

Entropy: (noun) lack of stability or predictability; gradual decline into disorder Sam, 19, with a confidence that borders on arrogance, turns up unannounced and unwelcome at Barbara’s door after an absence of many years. Barbara, 36 and living alone, is startled and unsettled as this spectre from the past demands…