TO BREAK A MAN
Tarry Theatre at the Cramphorn
Flora is excited. She has dice, and a suitcase. Her past should be in the suitcase; her future may be in the dice.
She has an amazing memory for numbers, but her autism has confined her to a hospital. She is eagerly expecting a visit from her father. The fraudster, the teller of tales.
Directed by George Dillon, Jade Blue, artistic director of Tarry Theatre, gives a remarkable performance as Flora, and as the people who matter in her life. Fat Aunt Shirley, her awful mother Charlotte, her taciturn father and her gambler Grandad. I loved the way she transformed from, say, excited daughter to troubled father in the turn of a suitcase. There are weird, worrying stories, too. The broken clock, the burial, the motorbike. As Flora says, stories continue beyond our reading of them …
But the workings of chance, the interfering gods, were never really exploited dramatically. We never felt that, as an audience, we were influencing the outcome. And the final dilemma was improbable and unexplored.
The small audience found the piece interesting, the performance polished. Even if, despite the dice and the deck of cards, strangely uninvolving.