Chippy Lane & Chapter: Blue

Creative
Created by – Rebecca Jade Hammond
Written by – Rhys Warrington
Director – Chelsey Gillard
Designer – Oliver Harman
Lighting Designer – Ceri James
Sound Designer & Composer – Tic Ashfield
Dramaturg – Matthew Bulgo
Production
Producer – Rebecca Jade Hammond
Co-Producers – Chippy Lane Production & Chapter
Stage Manager – Bethan Dawson
Production Assistant – Sophie Hughes
BSL Interpreter – Sami Thorpe
Marketing & PR – Chloe Nelkin Consulting & PR
Cast
Elin – Sophie Melville
Thomas – Jordan Bernarde
Lisa – Nia Roberts
Huw – Gwydion Rhys

I saw this production on the opening night. There is so much to say about Blue and my fingers only have a finite amount of time they can type before I no longer have fingerprints, so I will try and keep this actually concise for once.

Blue follows Elin, who has recently graduated and is now living back in her parental home in Carmarthenshire, her brother Huw, a shy and reserved type who spends a lot of his free time on Minecraft, their mother Lisa, and Thomas, a student teacher who taught Elin many years ago and they are now beginning to get ‘reacquainted’.

It would take me an extraordinarily long time to write a log-line style capture of this play that I feel captures all of the elements living in it, because there are many different things happening at various points and all of them are happening in a crafted and fluid way. The frustrations and emotion that have been worked into this script are done so with such ease so as to breathe through the pages of the script, woven into the narrative with as much care and complexity as you would expect from a verbatim recall.

There is so much detail in this production at every stage. Harman’s set is intricate and exudes life and family, James’s lighting design somehow manages to be both simple and captivating at the same time, Ashfield’s sound design and composition is heartstring-tuggingly crafted – it’s all so detailed and precise.

I cannot speak of detail and precision without mentioning the fantastic performances of the whole cast and Gillard’s direction.  Every performance in this show was stand-out. The raw display of emotion, the character growth, the perfectly timed humour, the playfulness, the universal understanding of what had to be done to make this production as impactful as it was.

It’s at this point in the review I’d usually make a series of jokes, or make some remarks about what I didn’t like, or what they could have done better, or even draw a diagram. I have no such things to offer. I feel like I sat down and watched a finely crafted piece of theatre that made me laugh, it made me emotional, and I learnt a lot about grief and the pressures that a family can be put under.

I felt like I had seen a story told in a detailed and beautiful way, one that not only happened on this stage, but many times before in many different living rooms. It is hauntingly beautiful and a testament to all those involved.

★★★★★

You can catch it in Chapter until the 16th of February. Get tickets here;
https://www.chapter.org/blue

Header image courtesy of Kirsten McTernan.

 

 

 

 

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