Browse reviews

Brighton Fringe 2009

How To Die In A Domestic Environment

Grit Productions

Venue:  Brighton Unitarian Church


Low Down

Described as a play where "five lonely lives are forced to collide," Nancy Walsh’s surreal writing presents us with a forty-minute, one acter that explores loneliness, isolation, our need for connection, through fenced off lives that hide dark histories.


Writer, Nancy Walsh’s world is a place where people, fenced off, are also fenced in; imprisoned in their own biographies, fenced off through pain, fear, regret, detachment and curiousity. Each garden is a story, a biogrpahical chapter, yet somehow the stories are connected. These people have visited deeds upon each other, their is longing, there is regret. This is a play about wretched contentment, about the hair’s breadth that stands between laughter and tears, between calm and anger.

Much happens in parallel in a play that is staged as  four neighbouring surburban gardens; a drunk, Mildred and Maud, Edie and Lady Luck greet us side by side as the audience enters, looking us in the eye.

Occasionally the borders on stage are breached and there is communication across these fenced divides ad we begin to receive hints about the connections between these people; the play emerges as a latticework as complex as the latticed fences that separare the characters from each other.

There is much to see in this play, almost too much. Image piled upon image, and it can be a little overwhelming. The latticework sometimes becomes a collage.

Joerg Strader plays a drunk with a dark history with pitch perfect timing,  the directing is sharp and allows moments of uncomfortable violence and anger to erupt out of this back garden status quo.

All of the actors give strong performances, though I sense there is one more level in physical and vocal commitment that this very good production can reach in order to realy be outstanding. Sometimes uncomfortable to watch, often humorous and affecting, always engaging and watchable, this is a highly recommended, brave and bold offering for the exciting new fusion of Mokita and Grit productions.