Review: The Red, at Pleasance Dome
4★★★★

White or Red? Red.

Marcus Brigstocke’s The Red brings to life a bittersweet drama about the road to recovery, based on his own personal experience.

Benedict (played by Sam Alexander) returns to his family home for his father’s wake to find himself in the wine cellar with his father’s “precious” collectables. While reading his father’s farewell letter to him, he begins to imagine having a conversation with him. He tries to explain to his father (played by Bruce Alexander) the difficulty of sobriety after he reads that his father’s last wish is for Benedict to taste a red wine that he had bought specifically for him. His father, not understanding the implications of a single taste, tries to reason with his son. But of course, his father is dead, and so Benedict is trying to reason with himself. 

This is a very thought-provoking piece of work that perfectly captures the everyday debate – or conversation – that an addict has to go through to remain on the path of sobriety. Brigstocke succeeds in presenting that struggle to the audience, at the same time as showing a loving relationship between father and son. 

This moving drama – with just the slightest hint of comedy – represents a very relatable struggle that many people are forced to endure, due to the unfortunate disease of alcoholism and addiction. Beautifully written, and perfectly performed.

The Red, Pleasance Dome, 31st July – 26th August (not the 13th) 4pm

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