the set combines the cosmic with the domestic Saad Siddiqui and Izzy Dignum

This play is complicated. It has so many moving parts, emotionally and ‘physically’. The intricate plot of Mosquitoes follows the family of one of the scientists at CERN as they work on the Large Hadron Collider. The week for first test of the collider coincides with a moment of family crisis and the universe just doesn’t seem to be on their side. With such a lot to deal with in this production, the freshers in charge of it could have been facing quite a large challenge, but judging from the opening night they have faced that challenge gracefully.

From the moment you walked in there was a building of atmosphere. The stage was lit in a cold blue while the humming sound played, building up the underlying tension of the play. It was admirable that this humming, and other sounds like it (sounding like the Hadron Collider and designed by Alice Chernaik) were used throughout in scenes and inbetween. This allowed the idea of the collider carry the tension throughout.

"The set mixes the domestic with the cosmic, creating a Hadron Collider in a living room. "

In fact, the Large Hadron Collider was ever present on stage. The set, designed by Roisin Kennan, is worth a mention here. The set mixes the domestic with the cosmic, creating a Hadron Collider in a living room. The light in the middle of the stage, representing the beams of the collider, was really unorthodox and massively impressive here. It was such an impressive feature it almost suffered from not being used enough.

the atmosphere of the Large Hadron Collider is ever present in the playSAAD SIDDIQUI AND IZZY DIGNUM

The moving box of the stage also created an impressive effect. From the ceiling, a box came down the the middle of the stage which created a room with no solid walls. It made us as an audience aware that what goes on in the domestic setting is not alone in the world, surrounded by something more powerful. However, it should be noted that when people stepped over that front wall of this box, it didn’t seem to mean as much as it should have - or if it did, it was unclear to the audience what this significance was.

Despite the impressive set, the element that really held this production together was performances. The play is dark, but the comedy of certain lines was not lost in these here. The acting was really wonderful, complex, and managed to truly balance the tall order of this play. The naturalistic conversational acting of the family characters was contrasted with the over the top performance of ‘The Boston’ character, here portrayed by Jimmy Moon. Moon did some really effective clowning in what is a difficult character to play.

Special attention should be played to the two sisters (Alice and Jenny), played by Lara Cosmetatos and Hannah Ramezani. The relationship portrayed in the acting here is really intricate and wonderful. After a few moments of the opening scene, it is clear what their relationship is and where they clashed - a thematic current through the play. The natural and sisterly way they interacted with one another did justice to the confused and difficult place these two characters found themselves in. The two actors gave truly moving performances.


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Mountain View

Mosquitoes preview

The main problem I had with this play was not the fault of those involved - it was the script. The plot of this play tried to deal with so many issues; complex ideas from physics, infant death, euthanasia, lack of recognition of achievement due to gender, school bullying, autism, strained family relationships, estranged fathers and unbelievably the list actually goes on. In trying to deal with all of these things the play ends up dealing one none of them in any depth. So despite the good comedy of the play, the script leaves the audience with much to be desired and ends up feeling shallow.

Yet despite a script that bit of more than in chewed, this production of Mosquitoes did a great job. The universe being against the characters of this play, but the stars seemed to have aligned to make this production work. The set, acting, directing, sound and lighting all compliment each other to make a fabulous performance. Kudos should go to the directors for managing to take this messy script and make it into something poignant, funny and visually stunning.

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