Trapped in their Anderson shelter for the night this family bicker, make up, learn to listen to each other and face their mortality. With simple but effective lighting and set design from John Weitzen and Hazel Eadie a feeling of claustrophobia is skillfully achieved despite the large venue. In particular the use of electric candles, enahnced by stage lighting, is effective in changing the tone of a scene in an instant.
This intimate piece does not allow its actors a moment to relax as they are constantly on stage and busy. Rose (Wendy Brindle) and Lily (Alison Porter) fight in that way that only mothers and daughters can. Their love for each other is clear and the duo successfully convey the complex mix of fear, anger and grudging respect that underpins it all. While each family member has their moments, the son Jack (Zander Nisbet) brings the comedy and lightheartedness to what could otherwise be a much more sombre play. With Wilf (Mark Anderson), the father, acting as a font of sage wisdom about life, the universe and everything, he has many a monologue to deliver and does so with attention grabbing conviction. But it is Brindle who steals the show with her dramatic reveal of Rose’s background, previously unknown even to her husband. This climax of emotion signifies a new beginning for the family, a way to rebuild on a foundation of truth and openness which seemed impossible before.