Review: Blue, White Bear Theatre

Peter Hamilton’s brand of spiritualism might not do it for me but I suspect Blue will find its fans at the White Bear Theatre

“I don’t really think that I’m properly aligned with the rest of the universe”

What shape would “the quest for spiritual meaning in our modern secular and cynical age” take for you? The sheer potential scope of Peter Hamilton’s new play Blue means that it certainly arrives as a thought-provoking piece of work, albeit one which doesn’t professs to offer answers to the questions it raises.

Treading water in their late 30s, artist Frances and designer Max are looking for something, they’re just not quite sure what. She has incorrectly self-diagnosed with MS and finds her work haunted by a blue square; he is self-medicating heavily with pills and Armagnac and has determined that he is a descendant of King David and as such, is destined to build the Third Temple of Jerusalem, in Glastonbury.

Into their world rocks Sareen, a young Armenian refugee who might have shamanistic powers, is a dab hand at massages and harbours ambitions to become an architect. And as they start to make big changes in all their lives, further developments push them into ever more unexpected areas.  

It’s all rather gnomic and I’m not entirely sure that I ever bought into the world of these characters, though maybe that is just the deeply agnostic part of me speaking. Tom Greaves and Emma Stannard certainly sell the commitment of the restless 30-somethings and Lara Ciulli nails the ambiguity of Sareen’s disruptive presence. One to investigate if the spiritual realm is somewhere that speaks to you.

Running time: 2 hours 10 minutes (with interval)
Blue is booking at the White Bear Theatre until 23rd July

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