Big Aftermath of a Small Disclosure @ Summerhall

An intriguing, cleverly crafted play about words and their power

Review by Deborah Klayman | 14 Aug 2018
  • Big Aftermath of a Small Disclosure

First syllable by syllable, then word by word, and finally sentence by sentence, the little world the four characters inhabit begins to disintegrate. Can something so small really lead to this?

Written by Magne van den Berg and translated by Purni Morell, Big Aftermath of a Small Disclosure is a skilfully composed piece, punctuated by sparing language and lyrical movement. With Alice Malin’s bold direction, Jennifer Jackson's superb choreography and unflinching performances by the cast, this piece examines the minutiae of life, and how it can build to breaking point.

Wendy Kweh’s powerful portrayal of Louise is central to the story, torn between partner Johan (Sam Callis) and her lover Jon (Abhin Galeya). When Jon announces he might be thinking about leaving, something unstoppable is set in motion. Outsider Sjon (Mark Weinman) is trying to find where he fits in this place, while Jon is searching for the same in the world outside. Louise struggles to identify what she wants, other than not being alone, while Johan concentrates on forgetting uncomfortable truths.

This is a slick production, well-staged and with an intelligent narrative. The early part is particularly enjoyable, as single words and breaths build up to a larger story. Weinman’s development of Sjon is outstanding, from a sympathetic sidekick to an intense, malevolent force, and the second half of the play is spent wondering where he will take the character next. The climax of the piece is somewhat underwhelming, leaving as many questions as answers and losing much of its dynamism. That said, this is an intriguing, cleverly crafted play with strong performances that retains its singular style throughout. 

Big Aftermath of a Small Disclosure, Summerhall (Old Lab), 1-26 Aug (not 13, 20), £12.50/£8.50

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