YOU, Vault Festival | Review

Friday 16 February 2018

VAULT Festival
Reviewed on Thursday 15th February 2018 by Shaun Dicks

We find ourselves in The Pit at the Vault Festival, the sound of trains passing over the theatre and the background noise of excited theatrical crowds. The Pit is a brick and concrete theatre, completed with wooden benches, set up in Traverse, giving it a rustic feel. Tonight’s viewing is You, a narrative based story about adoption. We follow the story of a woman who falls pregnant in her teens and puts up her child for adaption. We then follow the story of the child growing up with their adoptive family. This all builds to the adopted child starting to search for his birth mother. 

Mark Wilson’s script is a feast of language. The story and the language is a joy to behold- giving the actors so much to work with. The script is littered with beautiful language, flowing narrative, seamless transitions and humour. The story is so well told by Kathryn O’Reilly and Stephen Myott-Meadows. Their portrayal of such a raw and tender story are near pitch perfect, with both performers giving a well rounded and focused performance.

Ultimately O’Reilly shines the brightest, with her heartfelt and honest portrayal of her characters. The direction from Sarah Meadows is also a highlight, in a space that is plagued with restrictions, she maximises its usage and effectiveness to elevate the piece as a whole. The shows use of music (composed by Benedict Taylor), underscoring the majority of the piece gave a big screen feel, almost giving the audience cues on how to feel during those moments.

You is a beautiful story of love, loss, family and what family is defined as. It’s truly an emotional play that doesn’t shy away from the truth. I personally would love to see a extended version of this play as I feel there is more of this story to be told. I hope there is another run for You, as this story needs to be expressed and deserves to be heard. 

If you can, get yourself down to the Vault Festival and see You, you’ll be doing yourself a favour.

photo credit: Nick Rutter