Sunday, 9 November 2014

Review: Man To Man at the Park Theatre

Man To Man 
Park Theatre (Park90)
Reviewed on Thursday 6th November 2014

A play about inner fight and survival, Man To Man has transferred to the Park Theatre following a sell-out run at the Mercury Theatre in Colchester. 

Produced by the formidable Danielle Tarento, Manfred Karge's rarely revived one-woman play follows Ella, a widow who takes on the identity of her dead husband. The idea may be shocking, but Ella finds herself in a situation where she must do what it takes to put food on the table... and there is no turning back.

Tricia Kelly gives the performance of a lifetime. Tilly Branson's production is gritty throughout as Ella faces one emotional turmoil after another. I have nothing but admiration for both Ella and Kelly's portrayal; it's rare to see a character so helpless, yet so strong and an actress performing with such tremendous might and strength.

I've seen many shows at Park200, but this was my first time seeing a show at the theatre's smaller space, Park90. The bare, intimate space leaves absolutely nowhere for Kelly to hide. I think the theatre is brilliant, just don't make the same mistake I did and sit in a bad seat. The intimacy only adds to the intensity of the evening.

I found some moments more engaging than others, the piece is only just over an hour but it still felt very long. I left the theatre feeling emotional exhausted and emotionally drained - I can't even begin to imagine how Kelly feels performing the piece every night. A dark and thought-provoking piece of theatre, Man To Man may not be everybody’s cup of tea but it is certainly making its mark in London. 

Reviewed by Andrew Tomlins (Editor)

Man To Man runs at the Park Theatre until 30th November.

Photo Credit: Mike Kwasniak

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