Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Short + Sweet Dubai 2014 Review of Heart in the Ground

Heart in The Ground
 “Heart in the Ground” -An intriguing title and no-one I knew in the play. “Hmmm” “In a crumbling Kentucky farmhouse a young couple find themselves dealing with loss and love as the familiar hand of the law threatens to tear their family apart”. “Hmmm” I pondered. “I wonder what this will bring.”
What "Heart in the Ground" brought was a hands down outstanding production. This show was streaks ahead of every other production at this year’s Short and Sweet. And there were some pretty good shows this year so this is saying something. A deeply moving two-hander skillfully acted and directed.
Sally Greenland’s performance as Karen, a young grieving wife, was beautifully measured. An actress in tune with her craft who climbed into the skin of the character and gave the audience an insight into Karen’s pain, her fragile state of mind and her simple illogically, logical wish to have her dead child buried close to her. It was a pleasure to watch Sally. I can’t say any more, other than that no-one else could have won the *Award for Best Actress – Short + Sweet 2014 after her performance. My one disappointment in this almost flawless performance was the dress she wore. It was a jarring choice for me.
Acting the role of the young husband, Lee, was Oliver Marriott, who played against Sally’s Karen in a well-timed balancing act of emotional highs and lows and in the end with compassionate understanding. Oliver gave us a strong performance that worked well against Karen’s fragilely determined character.
It was just such a pleasure to watch this 10 minute play. The simple set worked well. I liked the use of the stage and lighting. An effectively directed production with two fine performers. A well-deserved win for this year’s Best Overall Production at Short+Sweet Dubai 2014 
Here is a link to what Douglas Hill the writer has to say about his script:

*Officially the prize is for "Best Actor in a Female Role" but I cannot, simply cannot, call an actress an actor. Go figure.

Please not that the photo here are from the facebook page of Short and Sweet Dubai.

Oliver Marriott and Sally Greenland at the Short and Sweet Gala Final

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