Wednesday, 10 October 2007

Flight Path - Birmingham REP

Flight Path by David Watson
Birmingham Rep: 9th-13th October & Touring
Directed by: Naomi Jones
Reviewed by: Helen Champan

David Watson’s latest play, Flight Path tells the tale of two brothers bound by an understated love and loyalty, amidst a family characterised by tension and anger.

The strength of this Out of Joint co-production with The Bush, lies in the presentation of an increasingly common modern day family unit: unorthodox yet rife with passion. A raw and honest delivery from Cary Crankson as the talented yet frustrated 18 year old Jonathan, sets a high standard of performance which the rest of the small cast duly match directed by Naomi Jones.

Set in modern day London, the play begins with the meeting of Jonathan and his estranged father, as the latter seeks to rebuild their relationship having previously left Jonathan, his mother and his older brother, who has Down’s Syndrome, to care for each other. Jonathan, feeling the pressure of college, strained relationships and responsibility for his brother, seeks refuge in his down-and-out friend and soon finds himself caught up in petty crime and drugs.

Despite his rebellion and reluctancy to admit it, there remains a strong bond between Jonathan and his brother (a stunning performance from Scott Swadkins), and his relationship with girlfriend Lauren draws out his patient and loving nature and he begins to turn his life around, showing the necessity of human relationship and the power it has to transform lives.

Talented young writer Watson, deals with aspects of teenage life, family complexities and human disability with sincerity and depth yet with an air of light heartedness. The chemistry between Jonathan and Lauren as their relationship develops from awkward nervousness to eventual genuine honesty, frequently had the audience laughing, as did the appropriate use of strong language. The despair at his brother’s frustrating yet innocent habits is no less then endearing.

The raw and stark nature of the play was reflected and reinforced by the use of a simple stage set up (designed by Polly Sullivan,) successfully used to create several scenes whilst maintaining the intimate atmosphere so effective in engaging the audience.

Flight Path comes highly recommended to anyone looking for a play combining real life struggles and the power of love and loyalty.

Photos: Top - Cary Crankson & Jason Maza, Middle: Scott Swadkins & Mossie Smith Bottom: Cary Crankson & Jason Maza

Flight Path is on tour throughout october and begining of november for more information visit:

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