• Amy Toledano

For The Sake Of Argument presented by the Bridewell Theatre

Image courtesy of Charles Flint

What is it? 

For the Sake of Argument by Harry Darell at Bridewell Theatre.

What's it all about? 

One journalist’s words has consequences for one family as their son decides to enlist for frontline duties in Iraq.  

How did it make me feel? 

A very interesting concept however the production almost had too many storylines to focus on just one. The play gave the impression of 3 separate shows being mashed together, one with Georgie Farmer’s Mark Bradley coming on stage to monologue 3 separate times, the pub where the character Eleanor Hickock (played by Ashleigh Cole) has her regular debate club with her friends, and the house of the Bradley family. Unfortunately transitions were clunky, which makes things feel sticky going from one story arch to the next. The ending of the Bradley family saga feels very cliche and typical - a less violent ending would felt more humane and less soap opera-like.

The set design is beautiful and clever, with the sand flooring giving it an eery feel of buried emotions being resurfaced and a metaphor for the Iraq War. Speaking of the Iraq war, while it is very refreshing to see both sides of the debate, it was obvious when it came to the family’s opinion (particularly the eldest brother’s views) that they were not as developed as Eleanor Hickock’s views. It appears quite clumsy and with the current state of the world at present it would have felt better to create more varied opinions to represent more people. 

The ensemble cast are very strong particularly Arthur Verlarde and Matt Weyland, however some of the actors are very hard to hear. Special mention has to be given to Ella May’s comedic Liz, although sadly the character does feel redundant to the plot overall.

Anything Else? 

Debating is something we lack at present so to see a play about debating and listening to other people's perspectives is very refreshing. With a little bit of tweaking in some places, this play could really fly.

Claire-Monique x

For The Sake Of Argument is playing at The Bridewell Theatre until the 7th February 2020.

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