Love, conflict, friendship, and activism collide in A Murmuration Studio’s production of Mike Bartlett’s two-hander, An Intervention. As two young people debate Great Britain’s intervention in the Middle East and the casualty of combat, a war over love, drinking, and beliefs emerges.
The play explores the nature of friendship and how friendships change when one becomes entangled in romantic relationships elsewhere. How does one cope with a friend who has clearly ended up with the wrong person?
Bartlett’s plays often pose great challenges, both staging-wise and for his lead actors. This production (running through 15 May at Riverside Studios) faces those challenges head-on and with great innovation. In particular, Alice Wordsorth’s staging is stripped back and minimalistic, utilizing long movement bands which serve as effective gestures to places and props. Catja Hamilton’s lighting and Jack Baxter’s sound design were gorgeously realized and timed down to the millisecond making for great and abrupt shifts throughout.
Ed Mcvey shined as Character B. From the onset, his performance was rich with clever gestures, revealing behavior, and perfect comedic timing. As Character A, Rachel De Fontes had an ease about her (especially in direct address) that made her entirely gripping to watch. The pair’s chemistry crackled with witty banter, confrontation, and a healthy dose of flirtation.
An Intervention poses the question: is it better to suffer the misery of truth or to enjoy the elusive happiness of comfort? In the struggle to stay angry and engaged, do we confuse conscience and consciousness with cynicism and gloom? A production with a timely dilemma, this gorgeously performed piece is not to be missed.
Review: Matthew Pierce