Lucky Box ****

Lucky Box is harrowing theatre.  It not only proves that a two-hander can make sweeping social statements but also that the one-act can be as pertinent and complex as a full-length play.

 

Two characters meet in a secluded wood.  J is a young man walking home from college; A is a middle-aged man sitting on a mysterious plastic box.  Both characters engage in a battle of wits that combine humour and dramatic tension with thematic strings of bullying, identity crisis and generational misunderstanding.

 

Scott Fletcher (as J) and Stuart Bowman (as A) are fantastic.  They not only create individual characters that evoke both sympathy and suspicion but play off of each other beautifully.  Bowman has the meatier role, but Fletcher is equally good, and together they balance the script’s menace and playfulness.

 

Playwright David Harrower has not only created two interesting characters with excellent dialogue but has managed to create a scenario similar to the famed ‘Lady or the Tiger’ story.  There is no clear ending, only what each audience member believes will occur next.  It’s a challenging ending that many would shy from dramatising.

 

This is heightened by Dominic Hill’s direction.  Things are kept simple and well balanced, and the decision to use traverse-staging succeeds in placing the audience close to the action, making it all the more tense and believable.

 

Lucky Box is not trite lunchtime theatre.  It is a compelling production that shows acting, writing and directing at its best.

 

Until April 4 at Oran Mor, then at the Traverse from April 7-11.

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