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Isolation creeps off the stage in the ultimately hopeful play I Think We Alone -REVIEW; Sally Abbott's play weaves individual stories into a compelling tale of despair and togetherness.

Byline: By, Laura Davis

It's rare to feel lonely in a theatre, a space where hundreds of strangers come together to share in an experience.

But in Sally Abbott's play, I Think We Are Alone, the characters' self-imposed isolation is contagious, creeping off the stage and infiltrating the audience.

The clue is in the title of course, and yet ultimately the message is one of hope -that we don't have to be lonely if we choose to reach out to those around us.

But before that optimistic conclusion, there are hurdles to overcome as the characters tell their initially unconnected stories in a series of monologues that start to blend into two-handers as their lives begin to interconnect.

There is Josie, who is better at mourning the loss of her dog than she is her own father. Chizzy Akudolu's warm-hearted single mum pushes her own dreams on to her son Manny Caleb Roberts who is struggling with being one of the few non-white, state school-educated kids at Cambridge.

Andrew Turner is particularly moving as the bewildered cabbie trying to cope with the death of his wife. Meanwhile, Simone Saunders gives an empathetic performance as the young mum putting a brave face on being confronted by her mortality. Kudos for the real tears.

But their -sadly -fairly common tragedies are blown away by the story of two estranged sisters Polly Frame and Charlotte Bate as it unravels from the seeds of a ghost story into a heart-wrenching confrontation about misunderstanding, abuse and betrayal -with a brilliant twist.

Co-directors Kathy Burke and Scott Graham, draw every nuance from Abbott's script -from moments dripping with pain to clever comic lines. And the set by designer Morgan Large and lighting designer Paul Keogan -a series of light boxes that spin round as the actors each tell their stories -provides the perfect claustrophobic backdrop for their tales.

I Think We Are Alone is at the Liverpool Playhouse until Saturday, February 15. Tickets HERE.

CAPTION(S):

Credit: [c]Tristram Kenton

Chizzy Akudolu (Joseie) and Caleb Roberts (Manny) in a scene from I Think We Are Alone by Sally Abbott

Credit: [c]Tristram Kenton

Andrew Turner (Graham)

Credit: [c]Tristram Kenton

Clare (Polly Frame)

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Title Annotation:Theatre
Author:By, Laura Davis
Publication:Crosby Herald (Liverpool, England)
Date:Feb 12, 2020
Words:367
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