New Wimbledon Theatre Studio, London – until 11 September 2021
Bren Gosling’s new play Invisible Me focuses on the life of three people who have recently turned 60. It is refreshing to see a show that talks about sex, life and relationships for the over 60s, given our culture’s obsession with youth. There is a strong theme of reinvention that I enjoyed, as it is good to be reminded that we can adapt and shake things up at any age.
For a short play (running time of just over an hour) it is slow to get started, as the structure of three intertwining monologues results in a lot of quite passive exposition within the opening scenes. I had to reprimand my mind when it attempted to drift off. However, once our characters start to take control of their lives, particularly in the moments when the monologues overlap, the humour and drama kick in.
Jack (Philip Gill), an HIV+ recent widower explores the world of digital dating in an attempt to fill the void the death of his husband has left in his life. Alec (Andrew Fettes) hangs on to his youth, with an ill-fated flirtation with a much younger woman. Lynn (Debbie Christie), a hotel cleaner, decides to spice up her work life after an interesting encounter with a sex worker.
This is a very capable cast who successfully get under the skin of their characters. The initial sense of loneliness they are experiencing shifts as we watch them take action and agency over their lives As they try to work out what is next for them in life, the resulting humorous moments help drive their character development.
Director Su Gilroy brings out strong individual performances, and successfully dials up the anticipation when we see the lives of these characters are about to collide. However the pacing sags in places, and the ending feels abrupt, so the overall rhythm of the piece doesn’t totally work. That said, there are plenty of funny and engaging moments peppered throughout the show, to keep an audience entertained.
Invisible Me runs at the Studio at New Wimbledon Theatre until 11th September. To find out more or book tickets you can go here: https://www.atgtickets.com/shows/invisible-me/studio-at-new-wimbledon-theatre/
Rating: 3 out of 5.