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Theatre Review: Turkey @ The Hope Theatre


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Turkey is a play about relationships, betrayal and babies. It is an inside look at a queer couples decision to have a child and the difficulty that comes with that decision - a difficulty that shines a light on the struggles homosexual couples face that heterosexual couples won't need to think about. The story is important and needed to be told.

The very enjoyable three-hander, which is Frankie Meredith's first full-length play, tackles issues with a subtle nuance that makes it incredibly engaging throughout. Meredith does not shy away from the sufferings of each character nor attempts to paint them as anything less than flawed. Her writing is understated, mature and engaging. It is real and raw and offers a unique insight into relationships.

Harriet Green plays Toni, a woman who loves her girlfriend and is hoping to get that promotion at work. Green offers a raw and heartbreaking turn as the stilted partner. She finds the balance between being first loving and later angry perfectly.

Cameron Robertson, who plays Michael, Madeline's dead ex-boyfriends father, does so with an understated hopefulness that is heart-breaking to watch. His terrible dad dancing combined with his obvious mourning is quite wonderful and an asset to Meredith's writing.

But it is Peyvand Sadeghian who truly stands out. She shines as the manipulative Madeline, not content on just asking her ex-boyfriend's father for his sperm, instead orchestrating him into a sexual relationship. She should be easy to hate but Sadeghian delivers each line with an undeniable warmth and vulnerability that makes it truly hard to do so.

The connection between each actor is solid, each decision made about their relationships impeccable. The actors contrast and bounce off of each other perfectly. The relationships seem natural and are at times heart-breaking. It is as if you are sneaking a peek into another couple's most private moments.

There is a believeability and truth on stage that is a wonder to witness.

It is Niall Phillips strong direction that allows each nuance to fall into place, each decision made has been done so with strength and clarity. Phillips never allows the drama and tension to overshine the overarching story, allowing for each moment to breathe, and the audience to breath with it.

The choices made for the staging were brilliant. The set is open and and simple, decorated with a few autumnal leafs scattered about. Some boxes are placed in each corner of the round staging. Nothing else is needed. The set is as the rest of the production: understated yet beautiful.

This symbolic space allows Phillips and Meredith's creation to shine. Nothing is hidden, the ugly truth is out in the open for the entire audience to see at all times, from all angles.

Turkey is not a story that shys away from depicting pain so it is quite fitting that each decision made contributed to this overall soul and destruction of the piece, making the show nothing short of stunning.

Find out more about the show here, and follow production company, Lonesome Schoolboy Productions here.

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