Beacons at the always invigorating Park Theatre is a three-hander about the power of love and the importance of family. This is a well-written play by the young Tabitha Mortiboy who has managed to create interesting characters with strong relationships. Director Philip Wilson executes this very well, striking a fine balance between humour and tragedy.
The production touches the audience by exploring the importance that one should give to the family as a unit. Three people who start off alone, Skye, Bernard and Julie, have become a unit by the end: “see those three at the edge, those three in a line? That’s me, and you and Julie. We’re a constellation.” A unity. Julie is a woman who cannot stand her own company any more, cannot stand feeling lonely – and thus turns to online dating. But what she fails to see is that she is actually not alone. How easy is it, though, to take for granted the people who are always by your side – like Julie does with Bernard; it does not even cross her mind that he is the one that can fill the gap for her.
Insecurity and fear are two major issues that this play raise: Bernard feels insecure that he will be turned down, and thus never expresses his true feelings to Julie until Skye pushes him do so. But Julie too feels insecure that both Bernard and Skye need her company not because of her, but because in both cases Julie brings them closer to their past.
A brilliant cast achieves to bring to life in this intimate and intense space the strong relationships of the three characters. Especially Emily Burnett, as Skye, deserves a special mention for her outstanding energy. Her Skye is a vibrant girl who gives us all a lesson about how important it is to always remain positive.
Given that this was only the beginning of the run, hopefully the pace can pick up – especially during the transitions between the scenes – and make the flow of the production much swifter. Overall, it is one of those plays that make you think, question human relationships, and make you excited about the future of new writing!