Crossing The Void

August 13, 2022 | By More

★★★★☆     Spookily real

theSpace on the Mile (Venue 39): Sat 6 – Fri 26 Aug 2022
Review by Hugh Simpson

Crossing The Void, Sally MacAlister’s play for New Celts and koi collective at theSpace on the Mile, hops genres seemingly at will. It ends up as a coherent and sensitive portrayal of very tricky subjects.

A year after Hannah’s suicide, a diverse group of her friends meet up again in order to deal with their grief – and perhaps handle unfinished business by making contact with the dead.

Amelia Fleur Yayici, Georgia-Lee Roberts, Zoe Kinniburgh and Evie Mortimer in Crossing the Void

Featuring such potentially triggering issues in a play which mixes realism, comedy and the outright fantastic is going to require a very tricky balancing act. It is to the credit of MacAlister, director Grace Baker and the cast that this is very largely successful.

There is considerable atmosphere built up, with both the realistic and spooky elements handled well. If the ending does not really hang together as it might, there is promise in both the writing and the acting.

Georgia-Lee Roberts, as the uptight Abby, inhabits her role completely and with an unforced naturalism. Amelia Fleur Yayici provides a pleasing contrast as the more expansive, comic Finn, while Zoe Isobel Kinniburgh, as Hannah’s bereft younger sister Josie, is very effective.

Those three formed a tight-knit group with Hannah that the other characters – Charlie (Evie Mortimer) and Lorna (Zara Louise Kennedy) struggled to break into. Mortimer’s considered portrayal is remarkably successful, while Kennedy does very well as someone regarded by the others as a misfit.

well paced

If there is a criticism to be levelled at the acting, it is that secrets that are supposed to come out later in the play are easy to work out from earlier reactions. However, this is really saying that the cast are a little too good at demonstrating the characters’ inner thoughts, and could easily be dialled back just a little.

Baker’s direction is well paced, and the staging makes good use of the available space. Filmed excerpts and phone messages are both utilised to great effect and with the minimum of fuss.

In the end, the supernatural elements of the play tend to work against the more grounded explorations of the nature of grief rather than with them, but the efforts of a top-notch ensemble keep this firmly on track.

Running time: One hour 10 minutes (no interval)
theSpace on the Mile (Space 3), 80 High St, EH1 1TH (Venue 39)
Saturday 6 – Friday 26 August 2022 (even dates only)
Even dates only: 15:35
Information and tickets: Book here.

Company website: https://koicollective.wixsite.com/website
Instagram: @koicollectiveofficial
Facebook: @koicollectiveofficial
Twitter: @koi_collective

Amelia Fleur Yayici, Zoe Kinniburgh, Zara Louise Kennedy, Evie Mortimer and Georgia-Lee Roberts in Crossing the Void

ENDS

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