Spalding theatre review: Every Brilliant Thing

Every Brilliant Thing EMN-150615-105918001
Every Brilliant Thing EMN-150615-105918001
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Performed by Paines Plough and Pentabus Theatre Company at South Holland Centre, Spalding.

I say Pah! to sitting quietly in the audience simply observing a play.

Quote from Every Brilliant Thing: ‘In order to live in the present we have to imagine a future that is better than the past.’

Last Thursday most of the audience at Paines Plough and Pentabus Theatre Company’s production of Every Brilliant Thing had to get involved, even if it was just reciting a ‘brilliant thing’ written on a piece of paper given to us as we settled in the round in the function hall.

The production explored the effects of traumatic events – in this case Mum’s attempted suicide – on a young boy.

In an extraordinarily clever way, the actor got a few audience members to take part in the play, acting out the part of vet (boy’s first experience of death when his dog Ronnie Barker gets put down), and the boy himself (audience member simply asks ‘Why?’ when actor pretends to be Dad explaining that Mum won’t be at home because she’s ‘done something silly’). Then there was the part of the school psychologist (this writer), the university lecturer, ‘girl in library’, and father of the groom.

It was moving, funny, sad and highly enjoyable; the actor was energetic, enthusiastic and full of emotional understanding.

The list of brilliant things is compiled to counteract the sadness: the play can be added to the list.

Jean Hodge