August 4, 2019

Memoirs: Crystal Clear at The Old Red Lion – A Review

Please note, my tickets to Crystal Clear were complimentary in exchange for a review; all views are my own.

Richard (Gareth Kennerley) – a young man with diabetes – is struggling. As his health deteriorates, so too do his feelings for long-term partner Jane (Rakhee Sharma). He looks for comfort in the calming company of Thomasina (Gillian Dean), a poised and enigmatic blind woman. After Richard loses his own sight, however, his relationships with the two women unravel: things collapse between him and Jane, and his intense but ill-fated connection with the serene Thomasina takes a tragic turn.
 
One act and three actors, Crystal Clear is a raw and humbling examination of loss and our attempts to cope with it, exploring both human selfishness and our fundamental need for connection. It is both a delicate study of experiences of blindness and a vicious picture of love undone by fear and self-destruction. When Richard turns blind, consumed with impotent rage, he and Thomasina must confront the fundamental question of how their love will survive in a world made for the sighted.
 
Devised by Phil Young through improvisation with the original cast, the play first premiered at The Old Red Lion in 1982 before transferring to the West End’s Wyndham’s Theatre in 1983. Young went on to direct a television adaptation which aired on BBC One, 21st June 1988. Now, coinciding with The Old Red Lion’s 40th year anniversary, this moving and important piece of theatre returns to the venue where it first debuted.

HOTTEST DAY OF THE YEAR

On the hottest day on record in the UK, I headed on down to the Old Red Lion theatre in Angel, London for the press night of Crystal Clear. Not wanting to ruin it beforehand, I tried not to keep re-reading the blurb or any prior reviews. But arriving into the small air conditioned theatre, I was excited to see what Crystal Clear entailed…

INTIMACY

The Old Red Lion theatre is the perfect setting for Crystal Clear. Taking place in Richard’s living room, the audience is immersed into the drama from the very beginning. It almost feels like you’re part of the furniture.

THOUGHTS

POIGNANT 

The company have worked with an access consultant to make all performances accessible for visually impaired audience members with audio description integrated into the work and narrated live by the cast in all performances; a pre-recorded audio guide will also be available via the website, and pre-show touch tours, giving audiences access to the stage and set before each performance are available.

I left the theatre with a Crystal Clear insight into the battles those with sight-loss or facing sight-loss are facing. This was a true reminder to check my privilege. This is when I knew how powerful this play was.

For tickets are more information, click here.

Char xo 

Please note, my tickets to Crystal Clear were complimentary in exchange for a review; all views are my own.

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A Little Bit About Me

Welcome to my little space on the internet, known as Memoirs and Musings. I’m Char, short for Charlotte and my blog/website/diary is dedicated to documenting my Memoirs and Musings, hence the name. I wouldn’t say I was your ‘typical’ blogger either. I don’t care about getting the perfect flatlay or feeling bad for not posting, I just enjoy writing. If you’ve made it this far, thank you for reading. Anyway, I love to travel, indulge in a glass of white wine, when plans are cancelled and purchase overpriced make up.  I guess that’s me in a nutshell, trying to figure out this thing called life, have fun and never lose sight.