Park Theatre – until 20 October 2018
Reviewed by Adam Craddock
The Other Place’s tale of a strong willed career minded woman slipping into the ugly grasp of dementia is a story that sits very close to my heart, having seen this personally with one of my very close family members and upon seeing that this show was to be playing at The Park Theatre, I got very excited indeed to see what it may hold. “The Other Place” follows Juliana, a scientist and speaker who is struggling with some inner demons that she is incorrectly diagnosing, and her husband Ian, a doctor seeking to find the answers to her problem. The book of the show handles the subject matter truthfully and respectfully given the circumstances but does sometimes suffer from some pacing issues slightly.
Neil McCaul plays strongly as Ian, really showing the troubling tortured life of a person whose spouse has dementia. He had a beautiful mix of anger, pain and blissful ignorance that really resonated with me and stayed extremely true to the truth of what happens in this situation. Eliza Collings did well as “the woman”, with some great character work as the daughter and good control as the doctor. Rupinder Nagra was good as “the man”, working well with what limited stage time he had, although sometimes I feel like he did get swallowed up a bit on stage. However the star of the show was of course Karen Archer as Juliana. Her brilliant slow burn portrayal of a strong woman slipping into dementia was perfect and, greatest of all in my opinion, was that it was delivered with the unexpected dry wit and sass that these people tend to have. Her performance was spot on in my opinion and her breakdown at the end really touched me. Well done Karen! The direction for Claire van Kempen was good, working well with the limited set and lighting that she chose to have and, to be honest, I think that this really made the piece; stripping it back to the basics and just delivering a real story was spot on.
The Other Place runs at the Park Theatre until 20th October.