Dead Letter Office

August 8, 2015 | By | Reply More

✭✭✭✩✩    Philosophical potential

theSpace on the Mile (venue 39): Sat 8 – Fri 28 Aug 2015

Some Company Productions deliver a thoughtful performance with a lot of potential, but struggle to reconcile the show with its philosophical depth.

A Dead Letter Office (DLO) is a curious place. It’s a place where undeliverable and lost mail ends up. The end of the line for a thousand lost moments, lost memories, lost sentiments that have been left unsaid. But what if they could be said? What would happen to them then?

Marli Siu and Kirsty Findlay. Photo: Some Company Productions

Marli Siu and Kirsty Findlay. Photo: Some Company Productions

On a metaphysical level, Some Company Productions explore the representation of a person within a snapshot of time. People change over time and they are shaped by their experiences. A letter makes a basic and literal copy of a person, making it the essence of that moment.

Dead Letter Office, written by company members Catherine Exposito and Marli Siu, encapsulates that. The show centres around James, a man searching for a letter that was sent to him 24 years earlier. He’s searching for answers about himself, about where he’s come from, about who he is. But the question is whether he really wants to find what he’s looking for?

As James, played by Blair Kincaid, searches for his answers, he encounters a range of unusual characters. Through conversations with Niamh (Marli Siu) the helpful, yet somewhat despondent and unambitious DLO attendant, Emily (Catherine Exposito) the colourful Essex Princess waiting for her lost love, and political activist Karen (Kirsty Findlay), he soon starts to realise that not all is as it seems.

The characters he meets unexpectedly in the mail room all have their own secrets, held in check by gatekeeper Ailbie (Matt Swift) who seems to have invested too much of his life in the DLO. It becomes all too apparent that James is not the only one stuck in the past, unable to live his future. But sometimes, that’s precisely where some people should be.

delicate interweaving

The actors play their parts well, with a delicate interweaving to and fro between the DLO present and the memories from the page. Yet the physical set and effects do little to support them, leaving the performances a little flat. There is definite scope here for extra depth.

Matt Swift, Kirsty Findlay, Blair Kincaid, Catherine Exposito and Marli Siu. Photo: Some Company Productions

Matt Swift, Kirsty Findlay, Blair Kincaid, Catherine Exposito and Marli Siu. Photo: Some Company Productions

Dead Letter Office is an interesting and promising concept, raising philosophical questions on the nature of memory and records. However, while the show is entertaining it feels as though it could go further.

Director Ian Dunn scratches the surface in this one hour show enough to pique interest but it ultimately unfolds somewhat predictably.

Running time: 1 hour 5 minutes
theSpace on the Mile (venue 39), 80 High Street, EH1 1TH
Saturday 8 – Friday 28 August 2015
Even dates only: 6.05pm
Tickets and further details from: https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/dead-letter-office

ENDS

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