Review: The Deep Space, Old Red Lion

“People look their most beautiful when they’re about to cry…”

Lancashire-born Lila Whelan’s debut play The Deep Space follows in the steps of last year’s extremely well-received Mercury Fur in identifying the Old Red Lion as an excellent theatre to put on claustrophobically intimate and emotionally intense pieces of drama. And whilst this is ostensibly a subtler affair than Ridley, Whelan has constructed a perceptively layered play which unwinds and uncoils with a measured precision as a conversation between two women in a nondescript interrogation room somewhere in the north of England delves into the depths of genuine psychological horror.

The sharply-suited Caitlin is a New York-based lawyer-type figure meeting with Sam, a mother whose family has died in a house fire but as she slowly teases the story from her reluctant client, terrible secrets come tumbling from the closets of both women. To say much more is to get dangerously close to spoiler territory, but it isn’t saying too much to say that it is upon this crucial relationship that the show hinges and it delivers it well. Whelan takes on the insistently probing Caitlin, impatient but inescapably drawn to the case and convinces of her crumbling composure and as Sam, Abbiegale Duncan nails the sullen demeanour of a young woman dazed from the considerable amount that life has thrown at her. Continue reading “Review: The Deep Space, Old Red Lion”