The Alma Tavern provided the perfect stage for the drama societies production of the Big Meal. Its intimacy created a space where the emotions of the piece were felt deeply by all the audience.
The production had a clear sense of direction. The quick time jumps were very well executed by the actors, taking the audience through the roller coaster ride of one family and its obstacles. The sharing role aspect of the performance was dazzling as each actor bravely jumped from one role to the next, embodying their new character instantly. Not only as individuals but as an ensemble the cast were very engaging leaving us either in tears or hysterics. The ball was never dropped by any of the cast, even in Guy Woods’ dynamic portrayal of a mute waiter.
The unusual style of script uses group scenes which often result in characters talking over one another, contributing to the life-like effect of a real bickering family. However, At times this became overwhelming to witness and difficult to understand. There are constant changes and time lapses in the production as the family gets bigger, tension increases and we see the characters living up to the age old cliché that we all end up like our parents.
The sharp time lapses reflect how fleeting time can be, and the importance in connecting with one another. Perhaps an important topic to reflect on, given our generations increasing relationship with our phones and not those sat across from us at the dinner table…
Kate Valentine Crisp