Philobiblon: Theatre Review: Blackout at the Courtyard Theatre

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Theatre Review: Blackout at the Courtyard Theatre

You are sitting in an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. In the intimate space of the Courtyard Theatre at King's Cross, you're not just watching, you are in the meeting.

Seven alcoholics are telling their harrowing life stories - simply, naturally, with only as much melodrama as comes naturally to their characters.

Jack (Riley Stewart), from an Irish background, comes from a family of alcoholics, his mother dying at the age of 13 left him an orphan. (Earlier, his father had drowned in a puddle while in an alcoholic stupor.) Jack drank to forget; he drank to find a family. Of course both efforts failed.

Then there's Tim (Gary Lawrence) who cries as he talks of his family - led by his macho football coach father - refusing to accept his homosexuality; he still can't use the word "gay". Then his story gets even darker.

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