Family, friends, colleagues and acquaintances fill up the church service. The priest leads a thoughtful ceremony. Guests make their speeches, expressing moments that will live on forever as they fight back the tears. However, this is the last place you want to be. All of these stories although told with good intentions leaves you wanting to grieve on your own, without anyone watching, without noise, without the chaos.
Mouth Play, written by Ross Dunsmore explores the universal themes of love and family. Set at the funeral of Hugh, a man alluded to by his wife and son, Mouth Play attempts to examine the strength of relationships of past, present and future. A tri-logue which sees mother and son bicker during their loved ones’s funeral, whilst Hugh wanders around the stage witnessing proceedings offers an unusual yet challenging set up for this assumingly melancholic setting.
Dunsmore’s script has the potential to have you crying with laughter one minute, and leave you crying with sadness at others, however needs refining to create the perfect balance. Although sadness is the play’s backdrop, the two protaginists add some heart to the production, as their mother and son squabbles act as a reminder that life goes on and that we are all human.
The play’s title, Mouth Play is a reference to Hugh’s love of playing the harmonica, and this is a prop that is featured on stage buY Hugh’s son. The harmonica however isn’t referred to enough, and therefore loses its significance. The instrument is the tie between the living and the afterlife, however isn’t fully realised in the performance. This piece definitely has potential, however just needs refining. 2.5/5
Review written by Lucy Basaba.
Mouth Play was shown at the Playmakers Festival at the Tabard Theatre from Wednesday 1st to Thursday 2nd April. For more information on shows at the Tabard Theatre, visit here…