‘Story & language are a joy to behold’: YOU – Vault Festival ★★★★

In Festivals, London theatre, Opinion, Plays, Reviews by Olivia MitchellLeave a Comment

The Vaults – until 18 February 2018
Guest reviewer: Shaun Dicks

We find ourselves in The Pit at the Vault Festival, the sound of trains passing over the theatre and the background noise of excited theatrical crowds. The Pit is a brick and concrete theatre, complete with wooden benches, set up in traverse, giving it a rustic feel.

Tonight’s viewing is You, a narrative based story about adoption. We follow the story of a woman who falls pregnant in her teens and puts up her child for adoption. We then follow the story of the child growing up with their adoptive family. This all builds to the adopted child starting to search for his birth mother.

Mark Wilson’s script is a feast of language. The story and language are a joy to behold – giving the actors so much to work with. The script is littered with beautiful language, flowing narrative, seamless transitions and humour.

The story is so well told by Kathryn O’Reilly and Stephen Myott-Meadows. Their portrayal of such a raw and tender story is near pitch-perfect, with both performers giving a well-rounded and focused performance.

Ultimately O’Reilly shines the brightest, with her heartfelt and honest portrayal of her characters. The direction from Sarah Meadows is also a highlight. In a space that is plagued with restrictions, she maximises its usage and effectiveness to elevate the piece as a whole. The shows use of music (composed by Benedict Taylor), underscoring the majority of the piece, gave a big screen feel, almost giving the audience cues on how to feel during those moments.

You is a beautiful story of love, loss, family and what family is defined as. It’s truly an emotional play that doesn’t shy away from the truth. I personally would love to see a extended version of this play as I feel there is more of this story to be told. I hope there is another run for You, as this story needs to be expressed and deserves to be heard.

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Olivia Mitchell
Always surrounded by music from a young age, Olivia Mitchell is currently completing a degree in Classical Singing. To honour her passion for musical theatre in particular, in 2015, she started her blog Rewrite This Story, where she reviews shows, interviews performers and writes about all things theatrical. She tweets via @RewriteThisWeb.
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Olivia Mitchell on FacebookOlivia Mitchell on InstagramOlivia Mitchell on PinterestOlivia Mitchell on RssOlivia Mitchell on TwitterOlivia Mitchell on Youtube
Olivia Mitchell
Always surrounded by music from a young age, Olivia Mitchell is currently completing a degree in Classical Singing. To honour her passion for musical theatre in particular, in 2015, she started her blog Rewrite This Story, where she reviews shows, interviews performers and writes about all things theatrical. She tweets via @RewriteThisWeb.

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