Theatre Review: Mydidae by Jack Thorne.

*Thanks to The Other Room for tickets to see the performance.
 

 

 

Two people. One bathroom. Nothing to hide.

 
Jack Thorne, writer of Skins and This Is England, has created Mydidae, a frank look inside the lives of two people and the events that occur in their bathroom on one very important and emotional day.
Mydidae is currently running at The Other Room, one of my favourite venues in Cardiff. The Other Room is intimate and unique venue, tucked inside the fabulous Porter’s (my favourite pub in Cardiff!). Last night the space was transformed into a working bathroom, with running water and a flushing toilet; this was a first for me! I was really blown away by the set and the concept of staging a play in a bathroom; it’s certainly unique!
I hadn’t read much about the story line, so I did end up in a bit of an emotional state when the realisation hit that a child had died. After our miscarriage in October, the wounds are still healing, so it did hit me quite hard as I watched the performers deal with their personal grief.
Isabella Marshall and Matthew Raymond star as Marian and David, the couple at odds with their emotions and polar reactions to the tragedy that has befallen them. They were both fantastic within the production, evoking an array of emotions and reactions to one another. I could feel their chemistry and at times Marshall reminded me somewhat of Keira Knightley. I thought they engaged really well with each other, and they also had such confidence in their ability to perform the full frontal scenes.
I am pleased to say that the nude scenes didn’t distract from the core of the play; in fact their nakedness only reinforced the fact that we are able to see them emotionally stripped bare. I thought the dialogue was well put together and realistic, from little telephone conversations to deep and dangerous conversations, on the whole it worked…
When it comes to the subject of their tragedy, we never truly find out what happened to their child, but I felt there were definite hints to the mother blaming herself. I think this is a natural parenting reaction when something happens to your child, but within this play I couldn’t quite work out what had really happened.
Raymond’s performance of David was realistic, but his character was a little too stereotypical. I  actually feel the difference between the two characters verges on being a little sexist (she wants to talk, he doesn’t, she wants to spill her grief and he wants to bottle it up and so on…), yet in my own life I could relate myself and Warren to the two characters in the first half of the play.
I didn’t really feel the need for the final scenes within  the play, especially when things get very dark towards the end of the production. It felt a little at odds to what had passed, and also out of character for David. It is quite a shocking scene, and Marian’s response to it confused me even more, however the line delivered by her at the end cuts to the quick.
Both performers deliver their characters in a realistic and honest way, and we see their life, warts and all within  24 hours. It’s enough to get an idea of who they are and what they stand for, and it also makes you question your own reaction to grief as well as making you realise just how much is said in a bathroom, as we pass each other by during each day.
I think Mydidae is a raw and uncut section of two lives, but the end scenes just felt a little out of place and I couldn’t relate to this on any level. The dialogue was well written, the interactions between the couple were realistic  and the story line was harrowing and presented in a very raw form indeed.
It’s definitely one of the strongest performances I’ve seen at The Other Room, but the end of the story just didn’t seem like a realistic or understandable conclusion.
Have you been to see Mydidae at The Other Room? What are your thoughts?
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