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Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Review - Under the Blue Sky

Presented in three acts and focusing on teachers with three subtly connected love stories, Under the Blue Sky proved to be a thoroughly entertaining 90 minutes of theatre.

Act One, set in a domestic kitchen, introduces us to Nick (Chris O'Dowd) cooking a Chili for his friend Helen (Lisa Dillon). The scene ironically seemed to warm up as the Chili was cooked live on stage, and the two actors subsequently found their pace and chemistry. Their relationship focused on painfully selfish unrequited love, which was played out with great comic timing coupled with genuine heartfelt emotion.

Act Two, set in a bedroom, introduces us to Michelle (Catherine Tate) and Graham (Dominic Rowan). Once again we are exposed to an example of unrequited love, but with a twist. Anger, deceit and opportunism all played a part in making Catherine's character both well-rounded and dislikable. Dominic's performance was both creepy and amiable tempered to perfection. Both actors sparked off each other with great attention to pace, thus providing the most rewarding Act of the show.

Act Three was perhaps the warmest, and kindest of the three relationships presented, as we are introduced to Anne (Francesca Annis) and Robert (Nigel Lindsay) who are deciding on whether or not to begin an autumnal romance. This final act also neatly wraps up the previous two acts with information on the characters destinies.

Under the Blue Sky was both enjoyable and refreshing. If you only watch one piece of theatre this year, then this should be it.

Rating: 4/5