‘Could have been an interesting take on the subject of consent’: GREYSCALE – Vault Festival ★★★

In Festivals, London theatre, Opinion, Plays, Reviews by Jonathan BazLeave a Comment

The Vaults, London – until 17 March 2019

In the #MeToo era Madeleine Gould and Joel Samuels have written what could have been an interesting take on the subject of consent. A too short two-hander immerses the small audience into monologues from both actors, before they then meet on their first date.

Greyscale takes a relevant and unquestionably important topic as its theme, but its mechanism is at best unfinished, and at times a little troubling. There are moments during the 30-minute piece when the audience are invited to voice questions to the performers upon the issues raised. In the interests of anonymity, all are requested to keep their eyes closed while questions are being asked but there are nonetheless inherent risks here of rogue audience members “sneaking a peek” when eyes should be closed.

How can an effective bond of trust, between disparate members of the public, be established in such a short window of time? And while questions were requested three times in the half hour, ultimately, for what purpose? For whilst questions may have been asked for, no answers or analysis were provided in response.

The casts, and their respective genders and sexualities, alternate throughout the run – so the gig reviewed here could well be very different in its interpretation to audiences on other nights – performing on the night of this review were Tom Campion and Edie Newman. Timely perhaps, but in its current unsatisfying iteration, Greyscale lacks colour.

Jonathan Baz on Twitter
Jonathan Baz
Theatre critic Jonathan Baz is London-based but with a coverage that extends far beyond the capital to include regional theatre as well as occasional forays into Europe and the USA. He enjoys reviewing new writing as much as seeing fresh interpretations of well-known plays and musicals. Jonathan also sits on the judging panel of London's Off West End Awards ("the Offies") and has published numerous interviews and features with leading figures in the film and theatre world. Away from the arts, Jonathan is a practising Chartered Accountant with a number of clients in the entertainment industries. He blogs at www.jonathanbaz.com and tweets at @MrJonathanBaz.
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Jonathan Baz on Twitter
Jonathan Baz
Theatre critic Jonathan Baz is London-based but with a coverage that extends far beyond the capital to include regional theatre as well as occasional forays into Europe and the USA. He enjoys reviewing new writing as much as seeing fresh interpretations of well-known plays and musicals. Jonathan also sits on the judging panel of London's Off West End Awards ("the Offies") and has published numerous interviews and features with leading figures in the film and theatre world. Away from the arts, Jonathan is a practising Chartered Accountant with a number of clients in the entertainment industries. He blogs at www.jonathanbaz.com and tweets at @MrJonathanBaz.