‘A wonderful adventure that’s executed with clarity and precision’: A HUNDRED WORDS FOR SNOW – Vault Festival

In Festivals, London theatre, Opinion, Plays, Reviews by Laura KresslyLeave a Comment

The Vaults, London

Rory’s taking her dad on his dream trip to the North Pole. The geography teacher has always wanted to be a proper explorer, and Rory grew up hearing stories about historical adventurers setting out into the great unknown to discover the world. The thing is though, Rory’s nicked her mum’s credit card and her dad’s dead.

Equally endearing and moving with light touches of comedy, Tatty Hennessy’s coming-of-age monologue is well-crafted, staged simply and performed with an easy vulnerability.

Gemma Barnett is an initially understated Rory, but her presence grows along with her character’s confidence. She captures the precarious balance between insecurity, innocence and invincibility that is a trademark of older teens that aren’t quite ready to be fully independent. It’s endearing to watch her foolish bravery take shape, and by the end of the play, she owns the space.

Hennessy’s story is a simple one, but told with enough conviction and detail for it to feel plausible without being too heavy with description. It’s reflective but action-driven, emotionally honest but not indulgent. Atkinson’s direction is subtle, though additional design elements would give this production more sophistication.

A moving, gentle climax gets much of the audience sniffling, but there is one particular niggle that sticks in my mind – the story is unarguably middle class, made more palatable by the character’s upbringing and access to ambition and finances. I wonder how it would unfold if Rory’s dad was a builder rather than a geography teacher and her mum had a lower limit on her credit card or went into debt to pay for the funeral. Regardless, this is a wonderful adventure that’s executed with clarity and precision.

Laura Kressly
Laura is a US immigrant who has lived in the UK since 2004. Originally trained as an actor with a specialism in Shakespeare, she enjoyed many pre-recession years working as a performer, director and fringe theatre producer. When the going got too tough, she took a break to work in education as a support worker, then a secondary school drama teacher. To keep up with the theatrical world, she started reviewing for Everything Theatre and Remotegoat in 2013. In 2015, Laura started teaching part time in order to get back into theatre. She is now a freelance fringe theatre producer and runs her independent blog, theplaysthethinguk.com.
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Laura Kressly
Laura is a US immigrant who has lived in the UK since 2004. Originally trained as an actor with a specialism in Shakespeare, she enjoyed many pre-recession years working as a performer, director and fringe theatre producer. When the going got too tough, she took a break to work in education as a support worker, then a secondary school drama teacher. To keep up with the theatrical world, she started reviewing for Everything Theatre and Remotegoat in 2013. In 2015, Laura started teaching part time in order to get back into theatre. She is now a freelance fringe theatre producer and runs her independent blog, theplaysthethinguk.com.