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The Trick (Play Review) The Trick (Play Review)
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The Trick (Play Review)


In The Trick, writer Eve Leigh asks us to reflect a little deeper than we’d normally do on the twin processes of ageing and grief whilst weaving elements of magic into the production.


The show starts sure-footed enough with the play’s four characters giving sometimes humorous, sometimes sad but often reflective dimensions of the ageing process.


The audience is then directed to turn to their attention to grief through recently widowed Mira, admirably played by Lachele Cad.


Through her, we feel the pain of losing a loved one but not wanting to let go. Jonah (David Verrey) is still larger than life and present in her life. She still talks, dances and takes advice from him even though we know sadly it’s just a figment of her imagination.


Even though billed as a magic show about the parts of life we don’t talk about such as ageing or grief, neither unfortunately are explored with any new perception or depth.


What we get instead is a mish mash of unconnected scenes such as two builders trying to con Mira into paying vastly more for building works to three of the casts frantically guzzling down tubs of ice cream.


Thrown in is an awkwardly received palm reading audience participation scene. You soon get the sense that usually skilful and subtle direction of Roy Alexander-Weise has not hit home on this occasion. Instead bravely as the actors try we’re left none the wiser about turmoil grief and ageing than we began.


Verrey, as the stoic, looming and booming Jonah, give the a deft and honest performance as the passed yet omnipresent spouse . He’s gentle, playful. Philosophical with a rich exuberant voice that adds the much needed richness to what had it not been for the intriguing and thought provoking opening scene, an ordinary play.


The other positives are set designer Jemima Robinson’s efficient and expert eye in transforming this tiny space into a living room, kitchen, game show set in a blink of an eye.  As well as fine support from Ana Nelson as character 2 and Sharlene Whyte as character 3.


Though we get a sense of what it is to age and grief, the muddled middle part lets down what could have been a very intelligent exploration of what everyone of will eventually experience at some stage in our lives.