YOU, VAULT Festival

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by guest critic Ava Davies

Mark Wilson’s two-hander is constantly shifting. Kathryn O’Reilly and Stephen Myatt-Meadows slip from one character to another, circling each other, sometimes with love, sometimes with hate, more often than not with both, on Sarah Meadows’ claustrophobic traverse staging.

This story of adoption shifts perspectives constantly – from a fifteen-year-old mother’s connection to her son, to the academic parents who cannot conceive, to the fifteen-year-old’s father.

The writing, though compelling, can occasionally tip into the melodramatic with an intrusive sound design that can err on the saccharine. It begins on a moment of high tension and barrels through the first half hour unrelentingly – it is to its credit that it slows down, becomes quieter, softer, but no less incisive in the second half.

It is an interesting piece of writing on a little-discussed topic which occasionally gets bogged down by the heavy subject manner.

YOU runs through 18 February.

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