The Way Light Strikes Filled Mason Jars

A bleak yet engaging play which offers Fringe-goers thought-provoking quality theatre

Review by Liz Rawlings | 08 Aug 2007

The value of writing to attain redemption has never been more evident than in The Way Light Strikes Filled Mason Jars. This two-person play intertwines actual and fictional events, switching between moments of intense drama and dark comedy.

The play explores the literary and personal relationships between six figures of literature including Ted Hughes, Sylvia Plath and John Dunne, who appear onstage as characters in the work of dysfunctional writer Kevin and his deceased muse, Maggie.

The set is purposefully chaotic, consisting of strewn papers, bottles of half-finished alcohol and overturned chairs. All this efficiently conveys the disorder of Kevin’s mind, the contents of which are effectively strewn across the stage. However, it is not the set that makes this play so engaging but the superb performances of the two actors Danielle Thys and Nick Sholley who play their parts with conviction.

This is a bleak yet engaging play which discusses murder, incest, abortion and addiction. It is not comfortable viewing and the audience are made to question their own mortality, yet it is this painful confrontation which makes the play so compelling. Despite the uncomfortable and disturbing issues it raises, The Way Light Strikes Filled Mason Jars is a poetically written, well-acted production, which offers Fringe-goers quality and thought-provoking theatre.