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Review: Spiral, at Park Theatre

17 August, 2018 — By Lucy Popescu

Adam Morris and Abigail Hood in Spiral. Photo: Benkin Photography

IN Abigail Hood’s engaging drama, three characters are coming to terms with the loss of a loved one.

Tom (Adam Morris) and Gill (Tracey Wilkinson) are struggling to keep their lives together after the disappearance of Sophie, their teenage daughter. Tom decides to book a young escort, Leah (Hood), who reminds him of Sophie, and asks her to come dressed as a schoolgirl.

After a disastrous attempt at therapeutic role play, they become unlikely friends.

Leah’s mother has recently died and she is also mourning the lack of a father – he left when she was a child. Leah is in a dysfunctional relationship with a controlling boyfriend, Mark (Kevin Tomlinson), who doubles up as her pimp.

Meanwhile, Gill attempts to cope with her loss through alcohol and is increasingly suspicious of her husband and his motives for protecting Leah.

Things come to a head when Tom is suspended from the school where they both work, accused of behaving inappropriately with three schoolgirls.

Hood’s play hinges on whether Tom and Gill can find their way back to each other and Leah can escape Mark’s clutches and forge a new life for herself.

Initially, Glen Walford and Tomlinson’s production feels a little off-kilter.

The actors’ self-consciousness is exacerbated by the cumbersome moving of blocks around the stage. Once everyone settles into their roles, though, the action rockets along.

Tomlinson’s performance is particularly memorable; he adeptly conveys the swagger and narcissism of a sadistic bully.

Until September 1
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