Review- Lungs- Liki Produksie


By Lizzi Wood-Vashishtha




As I walked in to take my seat to see LUNGS, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I’d seen some of the promo material but, like many of the performances I review, I had chosen not to read too much about it beforehand. I was curious and, unusually, without much expectation as to the style or content of the production.



What I encountered was truly beautiful, a piece of theatre that was frankly honest, funny, heart-wrenching and entirely relatable. The piece begins in the shopping queue in Ikea. The ‘Man,' brilliantly played by Jan Brink, standing behind the ‘Woman,' created a somewhat awkward introduction to the piece as they pursue what comes to light as their very private conversation about ‘trying for a baby’ over the woman’s shoulder. For a few minutes, I did wonder what I’d let myself in for until Ikea was mentioned much to my, and the rest of the
audience’s, hilarity when it all clicked into place. The minimalistic set well amplified the ambiguity of this opening, and when I say minimalistic I mean, bare, nothing - just walls, floor, 2 actors and the audience, it was a perfect fit for the whole show!



At points during the performance, I was awed by the smart direction to make the unsaid heard, the same direction which could have almost been perceived as a dance between the pair at times. Moments where I wondered, ‘how are they going to do that without…doing that?’ were answered with great ease and simplicity. Transitions between scenes were often made without even moving, just a simple change in expression, tone, pace and of course topic, swiftly and seamlessly moved the scene on without any requirement for elaborate set or scenery changes, let alone even leaving the very same spot!



My only little gripe was that I felt the end was a little rushed; there was a lot squeezed into the end section, and I didn’t quite catch all of what was said. As such, I wasn’t able to digest the full story which was a shame. The last breath thing though was beautiful.



At times, I felt like perhaps the writer, Duncan MacMillan, had been spying on my husband and I. The conversation and reactions between ‘Man’ and ‘Woman’ were so relatable and felt so familiar, even just the little things, which I am certain would also resonate with people – not even specifically couples - around the world. An example is when ‘Man’ and ‘Woman’ are getting excited about her pregnancy and the bump showing, in the build-up of excitement ‘Man’ exclaims how ‘massive’ she is…followed by a sharp intake of breath from the audience, not to mention the change in attitude from ‘Woman’!



In moments of both humour and great sadness, the writing is relatable and draws the audience in to empathize with the characters, whether in laughter or tears. Of course, this is exemplified by the actors; Jan Brink, as aforementioned, plays his role brilliantly well, showing many different sides to this man and demonstrating the complexity of spending your life with someone with great ease. Hilletje Bashew, as ‘Woman’ has the most engaging facial expressions and plays the swing of emotions so very well. She particularly shone during the scene when she breaks up with ‘Man,' probably the most serious text during the play, and had me on the brink of tears and I’m sure many others too. The only part of the relationship between the two characters that I felt fell short was the intimacy, particularly in ‘the kiss’. In a loving, upbeat and positive moment it broke my belief a little bit when they kissed each other on the cheek. Granted man and wife don’t always kiss mouth to mouth, but I felt like that moment needed that intimate connection; that’s the thing I’d like to see developed further if this show were to play again, a stronger intimate connection.



When the show finished I was left wondering was this the writer or the director? Stage directions or interpretation? What or who was responsible for the success of this clever production? Or was it a combined effort? It would seem that the script was brilliantly written, the direction wonderfully interpreted and the performance perfectly executed.



I am so glad that I got to see this play and I hope that, one day, they might have the opportunity to do it again for those that missed out this time around. I am really looking forward to seeing what Liki Produksie has got coming up next, and you should be too!

Rate This Show: 1 2 3 4 5 Audience Rating: 5.0


No comment at the moment.

Post New Comment