A Study on the Stillness of Love
Blackout Creative Arts' haunting production is flawed but fascinating
This article is from 2015.
Emerging from the theatre after Blackout Creative Arts' latest production is a curious experience. Disturbingly visceral and hauntingly surreal, Andre Neely's tale of a childhood gone wrong induces a nebulous discomfort that is difficult to shake.
The play's brightest moments are its darkest. Opening with a harrowing minute-by-minute account of a young girl's sexual abuse at the hands of an ice-cream man, A Study on the Stillness of Love charts the tragic aftermath that drives apart a once-inseparable brother and sister. Shunning her sibling, the young girl becomes obsessed with her attacker, spending her teenage years wolfing down ice-cream to remind her of the moment they shared, waiting patiently by the phone for a call that never comes. Littered with chilling moments, the play blends black humour with a blacker story that culminates in a deeply unsettling climax.
Unfortunately, the production lacks polish: musical sequences are inelegantly incorporated, the two lead performances lack subtlety, and its stylised movements are stilted. Yet, strangely, these weaknesses somehow seem to add to the play's nightmarish complexion.
Dark, disturbing and uncomfortable, A Study on the Stillness of Love may be rough around the edges, but the play has an intangible monstrous quality that holds and horrifies.
ZOO Southside, 662 6892, until 22 Aug, 8.15pm, £8–£9 (£6–£7).