Certain Dark Things (3 stars)

This article is from 2009.

Certain Dark Things

Certain Dark Things tells the story of a brief and forbidden affair conducted under the Catholic dictatorship of Franco, and its repercussions as they continue to be felt by all involved decades later.

The suffocating sense of a curtain-twitching lack of privacy is deftly illustrated by the motif of communal laundry sessions, and by the in-the-round setting, which allows voices, knocks at the door and unexpected entrances to come from any of the four corners at any time. So repressed is the central character that it is a long time before the audience gets a chance to feel any sympathy with this tangled ball of awkwardness and other people’s projections.

The actors move effortlessly and fluidly across the stage at all times in the production, creating a smoothly absorbing spectacle of a play. Their training in physical theatre is very much in evidence and the effective use of lines of movement across the stage means that even the literal staging of a love triangle does not seem too heavy-handed. Marred only by some unconvincing group dialogue and an overplaying of the many meaningful glances, this is a neatly executed and rewarding piece of theatre.

Underbelly, 0844 545 8252, until 30 Aug (not 17), 9.05pm, £6.50–£12.50 (£6.50–£11).

Certain Dark Things

  • 3 stars

Critically acclaimed international storytelling company You Need Me return after last year's sell-out 'How It Ended'. 'A masterclass' (Stage). 'Outstanding' - *****(Metro). 'Something really special' - ***** (ThreeWeeks). **** (British Theatre Guide); **** (Times); **** (Time Out).

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