★★★★ | The Archimedes Principle, Park Theatre, London
How safe are children in the care of strangers? How much do we know about the people we work with? How far would we go to protect ourselves?
In a town that’s haunted by an incident at the nearby community centre regular swimming lessons come to a halt when a swimming instructor is accused of inappropriately touching a child during a lesson and the dangers of Facebook creep to the surface. When history appears to repeat itself what can people do but expect the worst?
This intense one act play by Spanish writer Josep Maria Miró i Coromina is set entirely in the changing room of a swimming pool. Buff and outwardly wholesome young swimming coach Brandon is about to have his world torn apart as his troubled boss, Anna, corners him and his colleague, Matt to talk about a complaint from a parent.
The play was an award winning triumph in its native Spain, playing to sell out houses. It is certainly challenging and thought provoking and yet still manages to be entertaining and fast paced. The action flips about through time, moving skilfully backward and forward through the events of one day; a device which works well in telling the entirely believable story.
Credit goes to the four actors especially the two younger men, Lee Knight and Matt Bradley-Robinson. Knight is particularly compelling as Brandon, a cocky hunk with a six-pack who hides vulnerability and maybe some darker issues. Bradley-Robinson is utterly believable as his slightly gauche and less confident colleague.
The script feels tight and rarely falters and the subject of how we deal with letting children be cared for by strangers without living in fear feels like a relevant and important subject to tackle. The flip side of how adults behave when around children in an anxious society is another thorny issue.
The play runs until 11th of May
Book tickets here: http://parktheatre.co.uk/whats-on/archimedes-principle/about
Chris is a theatre and book obsessed Midlander who escaped to London. He’s usually to be found slumped in a seat in a darkened auditorium.