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We Are Gay UK

THEATRE REVIEW | I Knew You, The Rep

★★★ | I Knew You, Birmingham Rep

I Knew You, written by Steven Camden, aka Polar Bear – the renowned spoken-word artist, comes to The Door with a delicate yet powerful domestic tale.

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Growing up in a non-nuclear family is more custom in this generation, but what is not often seen, is the repercussions of a family break up. Through the stories of Angela (Lorna Laidlaw) the mother; Nathan (Brenton Hamilton) the son; Patrick (Roderick Smith) the father, we see the nucleus of the family drama.

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The writing is sublime with poetry ringing alongside the emotional speeches. Lorna showcased comedy and emotion very well, carrying the story – very good crescendo of emotions as the story progressed. Brenton did a great job with anger, but a little one-dimensional with the less climatic stuff. Roderick was a good choice for the sullen Patrick, giving the audience a good look-in to the other side of the argument, but a little lacklustre in the final speech. What was nice about the production was the feeling of provenance with actors hailing from Birmingham, with local accents adding to the comfort.

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The play was only fifty minutes long, and I am wondering if story beat opportunities were missed as the story appeared to be presented in chunks, in places, and the build-up of the drama was lost with a very sudden ending at Patrick arriving in the house.

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