Lion & Unicorn Theatre, London – until 22 September 2019
At Last, what happens when an Island puts up the barriers and withdraws from the rest of the world? ID cards are mandatory and failure to produce one resulting in your imprisonment or worse, families are forced to choose a side and your friend’s and family mysteriously disappear overnight by force. Who do you trust and what do you decide to do next?
Playwrights James Lewis and Alexander Knott’s new play allows a terrifying glimpse into the way an event such as that could become a reality.
The answer should be live in fear and follow the regime without default on pain of death. However, while humans still live and breathe “fight or flight” naturally takes over. Each of the seven characters in At Last show the resilience and strength we all have inside us when facing fears beyond our comprehension.
Grace (Melissa Phillips) attempts to allow her fellow citizens a safe platform to openly discuss what has just happened to them in a moving performance as the Lawyer for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Her empathy is evident as she becomes emotionally overwhelmed throughout the play, she wasn’t quite prepared for the scale of people affected and the horrendous ordeal these families endured over the two-year regime.
Colin (Anthony Fagan) follows the rules and keeps working in the office department whereas Nikki (Gemma Wray) refuses to accept the fate dictated to her and everyone else. She chooses to rise up and rebel. Neither character is right or wrong they simply follow what they deem to be their destiny in this uncertain world.
The audience is drawn into all seven of the characters lives. Each of them telling their story about how they view the world that all seven had co-existed within during this unprecedented period in history. No two people experience major life-changing events with the same outlook and with At Last it deals with how these stories vary and regardless of the chosen side they are on each of them struggle to come to terms with the past in order to face the Brave New World.
David Brady’s direction with the help of fellow director Jess Barton mainly focuses on the actors. Each of the seven is under the spotlight during their explantation of the life-changing events they went through. Brady’s style keeps stage dressings to the bare minimum, costumes simple and effective and the spoken word becomes all you need to absorb yourself in as the unfolding stories bring you closer to the truth! But are you ready for the truth?
Walking away from this production left me questioning how would I start to rebuild my own life should I be faced with a situation like this? In all honesty, I have no idea which side I would choose and in an ever-changing unstable world never say never!
The Lion and Unicorn
42-44 Gaisford Street
10th-22nd of September 2019.