Review by Allison Browning
THE double-billing of Trip's Cinch and Three More Sleepless
Nights, presented by Twice as Loud), both deal with issues
of communication, truth, lies, sex and frustration, at The
Lion and Unicorn Theatre.
And it's certainly a big task to put two short shows together
with similar heavy themes.
It could have succeeded to grab the audience and pull them into
despair and confusion of the characters, but, unfortunately, did
not, mostly due to the under-developed performances of its principal
Trips Cinch, for instance, explores the gaps between truth
and fiction as a wealthy businessman is accused of rape by a lower
class, single woman.
The show began on a bad footing, as the opening scene should
have been a winner. It had the potential to confuse the audience
with the oddity of the opening lines and sexual interaction.
Unfortunately, this did not happen. The actors had not fully
embodied their characters and the result was
There was very little physical energy with the performers relying
on facial expression, which was often masked by blocking choices.
A little relief came with the entrance of Lucy, played by Enid
Gayle, who gave the audience a little more faith that there was
some substance to this show.
The set didn't help a great deal, with Mr Trip's office poorly
represented and the performance space generally was not utilised
to its full
This was, however, remedied in the next play, Three More Sleepless
Nights, which delves into two frustrated marriages and the
complete lack of communication between them.
Old friendships are tested, along with the individuals themselves,
who continue to resort to old patterns
of behavior, in order not to look within.
The show begins with an argument between Margaret and Frank,
the scene beautifully set, and creating a complete lack of domestic
Simple little touches, such as a child crying from another room,
worn bed clothes and simple props helped to accentuate the frustration
and anxiety presented in the show.
But the next scene was a little more confusing, with the audience
not sure of the nature of Dawn and Pete's relationship.
Were they dating? Who's house
It is only later that it is revealed that they are married with
children, but this was not clear in the character's relationship.
Ian Rixon was, however, very engaging as Pete, although his
wonderful performance did not get the support it deserved.
Caroline Ross' portrayal of Dawn also felt under-developed and
a little flat, yet with more physical energy and research (in
both shows) this could be remedied.
The double billing proved to be mostly a hit and miss affair,
with some 'stand out performances' mixed with those that were
The production is showing at the Lion and Unicorn Pub Theatre,
so it might be a good idea to bring your drink in with you.
The Lion & Unicorn Theatre, 42 Gaisford Street, Kentish
Town, from January 27 to February 8, 2004. There will be performances
from Tuesday to Saturday, each week, at 7.30pm, and on Sunday
at 6.30pm. Tickets are priced at £10 (£8 concessions).
Tel: 020 7485 9897.