The first of four new plays at the BT this week that are produced and acted by Oxford university students, this is a thoughtfully written, powerful black comedy drama. Fred (Jonathan Rhodes) and Eddie (Tom Skelton), two friends running a theatre company, search for the truth behind the disappearance of Fred’s actress girlfriend Jen (Molly Davies). However, it is a play within a play, as the actors are directed and prompted from off stage by Jonny (Dan Carrall-Green) and also guided by disembodied voices from the past. I found the frequent moving backwards and forwards in time confusing at first, but the reason for this later becomes evident.
The dialogue has plenty of word play, largely between Fred and Eddie, so at first it appears to be just a light-hearted comedy. However, as the truth finally emerges, the play moves towards a much darker conclusion.
The cast, though small in number, play their parts well. Their acting skills are commendable and their mastery of the complex script appears faultless. Molly Davies gives a particularly vivacious performance playing the role of actress/girlfriend Jen. The pace of the dialogue and action never flags - indeed, one forgets that this is an amateur production with a young undergraduate cast. The audience generally seemed to be enjoying themselves, the play is well worth seeing and will give the theatre-goer an appetite for more productions at the Taylor Burton.