CARTHAGE tells the tragic story of a young boy (Tommy) who started and ended his life in prison. Tommy’s mother, Anne, blames security guard Marcus but Marcus is acquitted by the courts. Marcus is tormented by the incident and can’t move on in life. And Sue, well Sue isn’t sure when she stopped caring.
Chris Thompson has a natural way with words that when put together forms beautiful poetry and defined meaning. CARTHAGE could fit quite comfortably onto a TV set and I think he knew this when he wrote the play.
The show had a basic set but created maximum tension and scenery through their insisting acting and powerful movement. The cast used two chairs, a table, some railings and a few extra props thrown in, to take us on a story that spread over 15 years.
All 7 actors seemed flawless in their portrayal of their character and truly made you belief in the piece. The stand out performances for me have got to be Claire-Louise Cordwell as Anne and Jack McMullen as Tommy. Claire and Jack gave performances that could transfer to any level of production or any genre of media.
One thing I found beautiful about this piece was the scene changes. It was as if they had heart and moved the show forward more then any scene could. The bleed from one scene to the next was heart wrenching and so simple.
The key of this show, if you manage to see it, is that you have to decide which side you are on and who you feel more pain for. In my eyes, I honestly can’t decide.
I will be talking about this show for a very long time. A definite must see.
Reviewed by Jamie Chapman-Dixon
Carthage plays at the Finborough Theatre until 22 February 2014. For more information and to book tickets click here