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Theatre Review: Thirty-Three @ Leicester Square Theatre

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Thirty-three, following its Australian debut in 2011, sees itself revived in the intimate setting of Leicester Square Theatre’s underground Lounge.

The audience is invited to linger in the corner of Saskia’s £700 per-month city apartment as she celebrates her 33rd birthday. Relationships are destroyed as easily as they are created, and the evening swerves through revelations and laughter, immersing the audience throughout.

What a rarity it is to find characters so thoroughly fleshed-out; equal parts through writing and the seemingly effortless portrayal of this stellar cast. Instantly and unrelentingly engaging, their lives tangle and develop with astounding complexity.

The story separates and converges with such intellect and consideration, providing the audience with opportunities to hone in across the room and explore the multi-faceted lives of these characters. In the aftermath, it’s not even certain if anything has really changed, however it is so seamlessly joyful to watch, that it doesn’t even matter.

There is nothing particularly significant about this group of people, no underlying message or overarching purpose – the audience is simply given an opportunity to observe them for this evening. This places the actor and their abilities at the forefront of the production, which in response they more than deliver. Deceptively simple, the staging is balanced and minimalist, carefully planned as to not overwhelm the performers, yet to simultaneously lift the production.

Maintaining its momentum until the last light is turned off to mark the end of the explosive evening, we are left truly caring about the people we were introduced to, yearning to know the directions in which they splintered.

The writers, Michael Booth and Alistair Powning, are to thank, as through 80 short minutes they managed to craft six, three-dimensional, living and breathing characters. They could almost be forgiven for slyly tapping into common stereotypes to induce familiarity and falsify an instant connection, as everything built them is remarkably fresh.

Thirty-Three runs at Leicester Square Theatre until Saturday 24th June, for more information and tickets click here.

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