Snapshot, Hope Theatre

Brian Martin and Joey Akubeze in Snapshot at the Hope Theatre. Photo: Will Austin

James and Daniel are chalk and cheese, and very much in love. The unemployed photographer and Canary Wharf stockbroker are adorably domestic, but both are hiding secrets. When James’ uni mate and ex-girlfriend Olivia vengefully reveals one of them, this irrevocably opens the floodgates to the rest. Excellent performances give this domestic drama its punch. Whilst the script is far from groundbreaking, it’s an accurate reflection of human intentions and fallibility.

Brian Martin plays the lost and frustrated James, a poor artist lacking direction and his own income. Martin’s Irish charisma is undeniable, and his character’s haplessness is enticing. He’s the sort of bloke that needs looking after, though his attempts to find independence are misguided and hurtful. Joey Akubeze is Daniel, the sweetly virginal trader sucked in by James’ puppyish charm and devotion. Even though he easily can support James, his frustration at his laziness is understandable. The two have lovely, genuine chemistry and are totally believable as a couple.

George Johnston’s script is non-linear and episodic, with too-short scenes that allow for little development within themselves. It’s pleasing to piece the story together even though the beginning and end are easy to work out quickly – it brings to mind The Last 5 Years, but with less order and focus. It lacks depth and the story feels underdeveloped due to its structure, but the characters are sound.

This isn’t a play with deep profundity, but it resonates on a level of realisation that we’re all flawed humans trying to do our best in a world that isn’t inclined to support us on an individual level. The script needs lengthening to give it a bit more substance, but its foundations are there, and the detailed characters combined with easily watchable performances distract from the issues with the text.

Snapshot runs through 10 June.

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