Hummingbird, VAULT Festival

by Zahid Fayyaz

This three-character play deals with the aftermath and grief following the disappearance of Gavin, Phoeb’s husband. She returns to the farm she grew up on, where her half-sister Jude and Jude’s husband Brian are trying to eek out a living, despite not being suited to being farmers. To cope with her grief, Phoeb believes Gavin has returned as a hummingbird, and starts building wings to join him in flight. However, the tensions between the trio soon begin to bubble to the surface.

Starring Amit Shah (recently in Happy Valley), Nancy Zamith and Louise Beresford, the acting is sharp and propulsive. The script and direction is wonderful, with some laugh-out-loud moments as well as moving scenes. There is an air of unpredictability within the plot and from moment-to-moment. This includes a hilarious song and dance number, dialogue between Jude and a sheep and a low-fi but imaginative ending with the wings on the edge of a cliff. There is a lot of great chemistry between the actors, and the play is a good meld of both humour and pathos.

Overall it’s very slick show, this certainly seems ready for a life after the Vaults. It’s certainly worth catching.

Hummingbird runs through 5 March.

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