19 February 2018

Black Mountain at Orange Tree Theatre was tense and satisfying

Recently I seem to be moaning about Orange Tree Theatre more often than I have be praising it but I keep going there anyway. Black Mountain reminded me why.

Being in the round is the distinctive feature of Orange Tree and that means that any front-row seat downstairs will do for me. This time I found myself in A31 for just £22.5. That sort of price encourages experiment,

Black Mounting was in a season with Out of Love which meant sharing the same minimalist set (there was just one prop) and the same small cast. The stories were very different though.

Here a couple were staying in a holiday cottage in the middle of nowhere trying to repair their relationship after he had a fling. The flingee followed them there.

What followed was a dark psychological drama where the truth was always questioned and rightly so. It was all very tense and the tension was nicely magnified by the lighting and sounds. This was a mighty fine production all round.

The story developed darkly and interestingly while I tried to work out what was going on. I was interested in all three characters and was struggling to choose whose side I was on. I may have chosen the wrong one.

Hasan Dixon again shone though Katie Elin-Salt was far from eclipsed and Sally Messham did the little she had to do well enough.

At seventy minutes Black Mountain only just about crept into full-length but it was the right length for the drama. It would have been hard to increase the tension even further and any let off in the mood would have been a mistake.

Black Mountain was my sort of play and I was delighted that Orange Tree chose to present it.

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