6-29 August (ex. 9,16,23) 14.30
Ella Hicks is evidently talented. I say that having missed ‘Eight’: her hugely successful, award winning play from last year’s Fringe.
‘Precious Little Talent’ is engaging, entertaining and very well written.
Having lost her job, Joey, a young English woman in her early twenties, flees home expecting to receive strength, love and support from her father, only to find him incapable of providing the reassurance she needs. She meets Sam – a young American man who challenges her world view and encourages her to face what is portrayed as a homegrown disillusionment. The story is beautifully told imploring laughs and inspiring sincere empathy for, in particular, the old man’s deteriorating condition. Indeed, the father’s story is a particularly powerful one, and John McColl’s performance is sensitive and compelling.
The polarisation of first-flush-Obama US, in the character of Sam, against the defeated, cynical, “English” Joey is often amusingly set forth, though thoughtfully conceived. The performances are excellent. I found Simon Ginty as Sam especially captivating – his enthusiasm and excitement brilliantly combined with a mature and sensitive compassion.
The play is certainly well written yet it tends toward the over-said at points, as though failing to recognise the strength of its own subject matter (the father’s soliloquy is a case in point).
Exceptionally poetic – this play, I imagine, would read beautifully (I particularly appreciated “the train scratching its back along Central Park”).
This style perfectly recreates the youthful hopes and dreams at root of the play, however, an obvious skill and affection for metaphor, is at times a little over zealous.
This criticism is not intended to be a dampener on this clear and shining voice, rather a sign of youthfulness that can only refine with age.
On reflection, the play stands out strongly as a whole: well structured, balanced – an entire piece which continues to linger in the mind.