Offstage (3 stars)

Offstage

Matthew Hodgkin

All the mind's a stage

Offstage is a physical, nearly wordless play exposing the mental health struggles that can happen behind the mask of performance. At points, the symbolism becomes muddied and can be hard to follow, but the intention of showing that mental health issues can often lurk in the background is achieved effectively.

The frenetic energy of both performers successfully conveys the contrast of performing happiness with hidden depression. The changes in movement and pace throughout punctuate the sharp changes in tone without dropping energy and force. The 'stage on a stage on a stage' set up, however, does not provide a generous enough pay out, and is used for multiple purposes, which confuses its intended use: to act as a visual representation of the 'stages' of depression and anxiety.

Ultimately, Offstage handles a heavy subject matter with energy and balance, demanding compassion from the viewer throughout, despite the play's weaker moments.

Pleasance Dome, until 27 Aug (not 14) 12.10pm, £9–£10 (£8–£9).

Offstage

  • 3 stars

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