The actors portraying the four characters, take on these other roles too, it feels like some kind of role play to begin with, as they egg each other on, but somewhat confusingly, that soon dissipates and goes to a more traditional set-up. These four actors all do an exceptional job in transitioning from role to role, and from comedy to tragedy. Amongst them, it is Salvatore D’Aquilla who comes across the most naturally, with his ‘man-up’ monologue drawing impressed gasps from the audience.
Stones and gravel carpet the stage, while railway sleepers are moved back and forth forming various scenes. Props line the edge of each side of the stage, laid out methodically like a crime scene. Adrienne Quartly’s sound design works well in The Bunker, the sound of trains overheard are replaced with low rumbling noises, signaling impending doom.
31 Hours has been written so that in the final scene, any of the actors can play any other role, leaving the option open to the director for the ending to change at each performance. I don’t know if director, Abigail Graham, has taken this option and whether or not you’ll see a different ending to the one I did. Enough hints are dropped for the final scene not to be a shock, what is a surprise, though, is just how emotional it is when it finally comes.
31 Hours may stand on the yellow line, rather than taking us all the way to the edge, but it is still incredibly powerful and urgent, and it is certainly informative. The cast really do breathe life in to each of the roles they pick up as well as exploring their primary characters, and exposing the difficulties faced by the modern-day male.
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