Terminus – Chancery Lane – Review By Joseph Kearney
Terminus is a splendid and unmissable show. Go and see it before it’s too late. The venue, the cast, the theatre craft and the script are exquisitely delicious. Over the years I have had my far share of mediocre theatre and the odd earth shatteringly good show here and there. Bad theatre actually serves a purpose, it helps us to recognise great theatre and appreciate the skill of a good show. Excellent theatre is a tonic for the very soul. On Monday night I was in much need of stimulation and also just wanted to see something with integrity or skill. In Terminus by Thereisbear! Theatre Company, I got both.
This production is housed in the darling theatre space know as Chancery lane. Essentially an unused or previously empty unit of a building that has been transformed into a quaint black box space with a nifty café bar, tastefully decorated. The toilet has no mirror but does have a chalk etching where you’d imagine a mirror to be that’s states, “You Look Great”. Your online booked tickets entitle you to a free drink and you can bring your glass into the bijou and romantic theatre space. The venue is simply enchanting.
Once inside, the auditorium is a collection of café style tables and chairs, some pews a lighting and sound desk and of course you are all facing the stage which accounts for the bare minimum of occupied space. The stage is in fact simply the corner of the room and has more psychological depth than actual meters of anything. The set comprises of three slightly upturned pallets which are flanked by tissue-paper-like drapes. Each solemnly lit by eerie and paranormal purple hues that fade to orange and white from time to time.
As the play begins three actors march in and assume positions.
Then the magic happens. Then we hear Mark O’Rowe’s epic words spoken live and aloud by three terrific performers. The story is an interwoven triologue. Each actor is giving testimony, recalling events at a particular time, seemingly unlinked to each other at first but, as the tale draws on, parts begin to slot together, the jigsaw takes shape and we as an audience gasp and remark (silently) at the prowess and brilliance of Mark O’Rowe to knit a story together. This is theatre craft and storytelling at an infinitely high calibre. The piece is so perfectly hewn that its departure from the normal to the extraordinary unfurls seamlessly. The bravery of the writer to mimic the fantasy of a movie script in a theatre piece is a risky move but in this piece it elevates the script to another level of awe. Poetry, pure poetry.
Terminus runs at Chancery Lane until March 18th. Full details can be found here.