• Amy Toledano

Poisoned Polluted presented by KOR Productions, Anna Doolan and Rua Arts.

What is it?

This new play from Kathryn O’Reilly explores the enduring relationship between two sisters who experience a toxic childhood. 

What is it all about?

This sharp two hander from playwright and actor Kathryn O’Reilly explores a multitude of themes (addiction, loss, abuse, family, duty and trauma), and flips between present day and their childhood, stopping off at some pivotal points in their lives along the way. This is a real and heartbreaking look at sibling relationships in the face of childhood trauma. 

How did it make me feel?

Watching Poisoned Polluted is an incredibly moving experience. I laughed, I cried and it made me feel very introspective about my own relationship with my brother and our childhood. I think anyone who comes to see Poisoned Polluted will have a similar experience, whether they relate to the plot or not, as the engaging performances from both Kathryn O’reilly (Sister) and Anna Doolan (Her) bring out the humanity in a particularly traumatic situation. O’Reilly specifically, has perfect comic timing and makes the audience laugh out loud in some of the shows darkest moments. The design aspects are also hugely commendable. The forrest / council flat set from Mayou Trikerioti is atmospheric and sets up this swirling encapsulated world the two sisters live in from incoming. Lighting design by up-and-comer Benny Goodman is wonderful, adding space and grounding to a tumultuous back-and-forth script. The sound design, by Nicola Chang, lets down the production slightly however, missing the mark a little in the more abstract moments of this otherwise flawless design. 

Where is it playing?

Poisoned Polluted, running at 75 minutes, will show at The Old Red Lion Theatre until the 30th of November. 

Anything else?

The show could easily be shaved down to sixty minutes as it tends to drag slightly in places, however this doesn't impact upon the script (which feels fantastically relentless in it’s momentum) but more the repeated, sometimes clunky movement pieces. They are beautifully choreographed by Sophie Shaw but there are a few too many and do not feel relevant or perhaps not the actor’s strong suits.This play is definitely worth catching if you get the chance. It is an intricate study in to the long term effects of childhood trauma, which never takes itself too seriously.

Serafina x

Poison Pollution is playing at The Old Red Lion until the 30th November 2019.

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