The Space @ Surgeons Hall
Aug 6-11, 13-18
*** 3 Stars
Being a Glasgow girl with a keen interest in the seriousness surrounding mental health this one-man show was right up my street.
The setting is December Glasgow’14 and centres around the bin lorry crash that devasted the city.
Neil Gwynne captivates the audience with a powerful start as he changes accents between 4 different men each with their own story who were affected by the tragedy.
The audience learns about the four men’s lives: the Polish hot dog seller, the homeless Yorkshire veteran; the upper-class English vicar; and the common Glaswegian.
Each man has their own tortured history, struggles to overcome and battles to face. Serious issues are addressed here from PTSD to OCD, as well as depression, anxiety and panic attacks, though part of me felt it was a bit of a guessing game as to what was each character’s issue.
The accents are all great except the Glaswegian one, which is all over the place and anything but Glaswegian. When George Square was referred to as “St George’s Square” I had to bite my tongue knowing full well that the square is named after King George and not a saint, therefore known as simply George Square; getting these two parts correct is kind of important when the performance is based in and on the city.
Mental health problems can affect anyone and in men continues to be a taboo subject, with many men suffering in silence when they experience feelings of sadness, loneliness or anxiety. This subject makes the performance thought provoking and captivating.
Although Neil Gwynne paints a good visual, I would like to see different actors in each role and the idea developed more. Worth seeing but in need of improvements to really do the event justice.