From Eden – Theatre Upstairs – Review by Frank L.
Until 5th December
From Eden – Written by Stephen Jones
It is New Year’s Eve and a typical party is in full swing. Alan (Steven Jones) cannot stand New Year’s Eve’s contrived bonhomie and has retreated to a redundant bathroom to be alone with his thoughts and a bottle of red wine. He is joined by Eva (Seana Kerslake) who locks the door before she realises that Alan is already there. She also is uncomfortable with New Year’s Eve but has a naggin of vodka to help ease her pain. They indulge in an amusing initial exchange of pleasantries and misunderstandings. But both are on edge. Each has some sort of unspecified inner conflict. Gradually each reveals, more by accident than design, glimpses of their past. They discover they have more in common than a dislike of New Year’s Eve.
The set is a fairly downtrodden bathroom and throughout the play there can be heard off stage the hubbub from the party which is in full swing downstairs. Jones and Kerslake are well matched as they sniff nervously around each other. Their conversation has a realism about it as they interrupt and at times joke. It is a crackling interchange. But there is at all times an edgy uneasiness in each of them. The script is fine-tuned and Jones and Kerslake each converse easily while allowing the other the necessary space to delineate their unmined loneliness.
From Eden makes for a far more interesting New Year’s Eve than singing Auld Lang Syne at midnight on the 31st of December with a bunch of merry making strangers. It is easy to be very alone at a party. From Eden makes you want to find that abandoned bathroom at a New Year’s Eve party. It will be more revealing than the party itself.
Stephen Jones / ALAN
Seána Kerslake / EVA
Stephen Jones / WRITER
Karl Shiels / DIRECTOR
Katie Davenport / SET DESIGN
Eoin Stapleton / LIGHTING DESIGN
Ste Murray / PHOTOGRAPHY & MARKETING DESIGN