Ewan Pollitt’s tense but heartfelt play examines grief and how it affects your perspective on the people you love.
For such a short play, Ewan Pollitt manages to explore a range of issues with great depth – even if its 19-minute running time does leave the audience with one or two questions.
Based on Pollitt’s own experiences of growing up in Cumbria, Fission is a two-handed play that sees siblings Lex and Jack arguing about where their father’s final resting place should be. Combining conversations with each other, with imagined ones with their father it shows just how different both saw their father and what he loved.
Strikingly but simply staged, there is a lilting and wistful quality to the script which plays out the sibling rivalry and the feelings of grief with great tenderness. The audience is never in any doubt of both characters determination to ensure that their father is laid to rest in the right place.
Throughout you do feel like you are fully engaged with Lex and Jack discussing their father whether they are squabbling or comforting each other – it is always sincere, particularly with the presence of the urn on stage. It is definitely a raw piece of drama that captures all of the conflicting feelings that grief can expose people to with great sensitivity.
While the production finishes on a positive note, you can’t help but feel that there is plenty more to have been exposed and challenged by both siblings between the initial grieving starting point and resolution.
Both performances from Hiftu Quasem as Lex and Geraint Rhys as Jack really convey the depth of the undergoing changes that happen to both characters during the 19 minutes that is compelling to watch. Every word spoken between the pair is filled with energy and delivered with great focus.
There is definitely potential to progress Fission further as it is a completely relatable and grounded piece of drama that feels completely right to be staged during these grief filled times. An intense and emotional watch.
By Emma Clarendon
Fission is being streamed digitally until 8 November 2020.