#Tweetingit – 2* A largely experimental piece is let down by lack of character detail, and an ineffectual ghost that neither haunts nor inspires. Should and could be much better.
Turf begins in familiar territory; Eddie has just asked his girlfriend Anya to move in with him. Domestic bliss seems assured as the pair happily squabble over colour schemes for the kitchen. But there are storm clouds on the horizon. Anya is refusing to attend her mother’s funeral. Eddie is confused, Anya knows everything about him, but she is virtually a closed book. Is this emotional repression anything to do with Anya living under the same roof as Eddie? Or is there something special about this house with greenery growing within its walls?
The premise never really worked for me, and moved into an even safer mechanism for the writer, the appearance of a dead loved one; this time in the guise of Anya’s mother Fisher. An overworked storyline based on the wistful notion that loved ones return to see us through troubled times fails to drive the story forward. It lacked the humour of Ghost and sensitivity of Truly, Madly, Deeply adding nothing to the overall plot. If anything, Anya’s relationship with Eddie disintegrates the more her mother appears. The characters felt dangerously one dimensional and were in severe need of flesh on the barest of bones. The plotting showed promise but was incredibly sketchy and could have managed without Fisher, who was at best a peripheral character. More time could then have been devoted to Anya and Eddie’s relationship, perhaps explaining why Anya was so secretive about her past. Having said that nothing more could have been asked of the cast who performed admirably; Royce Cannon as Eddie, Laura Harling as Anya and Karen McCaffrey as Fisher were sound in their respective roles.
Much like the majority of films being half an hour too long, most plays are half an hour too short. As a result, they lose background and that vital dose of authenticity. Turf left me wondering what it tells us about the human condition, I just wasn’t clear what it was trying to say. The end result was an experimental piece with chunks of dialogue seemingly left out to fit the running time of 60 minutes.
This feels a bit like a rare miss for the King’s Head Theatre?
Author: Margaret Perry
Director: Ellen Buckley
Producer: George Smith
Booking until: 30 July 2016