On the surface, White Slate Theatre’s Captured is a fairly simple tale of erstwhile lovers Isaac and Sophie meeting, and gradually revealing their past through their dialogue. As their story develops, however, it becomes clear that there are a number of other interconnected, underlying themes: about how we remember the past and importantly each other; about how our histories, although intertwined, may be recollected quite differently; and about recordings of the past (such as photographs) function, our relationship to them, and their relationship to reality.
There are certainly bags of potential here, as these are great themes, and the characters of the photographer (Isaac) and his muse (Sophie) are promising vehicles to explore them through. However, despite fairly robust acting from both Liam Harkins and Gabrielle Nellis-Pain, the play doesn’t quite hit its mark.
Unfortunately, the play’s more complex ideas are merely touched upon, remain underdeveloped, and stay too much below the surface, while the quite ordinary story of the two lovers tends to create drag. The projected images—another great initiative—should give the play an extra dimension with which to explore the many intricacies of its subject matter, but this dimension is underutilised: the play would almost certainly function just as well without it.
This is frustrating, as there are also many good things here. Liam Harkins, for example, is very believable as the successful artist—a nicely judged combination of both ego and needy vulnerability—and the play’s ending is both unexpected and quite subtle. As it stands, however, it lacks a little substance.