An intimate venue within The Space at Surgeons Hall, allows us a close up look at a relationship that’s on the rocks. Written by Genevieve Joy, Like Blood From a Cheap Cigar, directed by Joseph Reitman, is an in depth character study of two individuals who seem to bring out the worst in each other.
In an interesting play on structure, we begin with their final encounter, then in the second half we see them return home from their first date. It works well, because it allows you to see how that end point came to be.
They are an unconventional couple, reliant on alcohol, drugs and each other. You get the distinct impression they don’t trust each other, but still feel strongly for each other. He steals from her purse and she’s reluctant to let him in, despite stalking him on a regular basis.
Writer, Genevieve Joy, plays Margo, giving a very believable performance of a woman who in her early twenties, an inspiring comedian, finds herself stuck in a rut with a man who’s doing her no good. Josh Accardo plays George, the older man and very cleverly shows the change in the characters behaviour in his performance.
While the conversation feels more natural than usual scripted pieces, it can be a bit mumbled at times and even in the small venue it can be difficult to hear the dialogue. There are only a couple of costume changes but they take too long, leaving the audience looking around at each other wondering if we should still be there.
Despite some small staging issues, possibly a result of the venue itself, Like Blood From a Cheap Cigar is a well-written piece of drama which deeply explores a fractious relationship.