Amy Berryman‘s debut play Walden opened the RE:EMERGE season (which creates a space for new voices and fresh talent to have their work shown on the West End stage) at the Harold Pinter Theatre in London last week.
It’s an interesting concept for a show. Stella (Gemma Arterton) get stuck in the middle when her estranged twin sister Cassie, (Lydia Wilson) come to visit after returning from Mars as a NASA botanist where she has been successfully growing plants, meaning it is possible for humans to live on it. Stella’s partner, Brian (Fehinti Balogum), is fighting against climate change and so whilst he is fighting to save the planet we live on, her sister is making plans to start a new world on Mars. Stella is torn between the two and has to decide who’s side she is on, whilst trying to repair the cracks in the relationship with her sister.
All three actors do a great job, making sure to keep the audience engaged with their voices, varying tone and pace. Cassie and Stella dress similarly, with the same pulled back hair to create the effect of them being identical twins. The set for this show is beautiful. All the action takes place in a log cabin home and its garden outside and so extra detail has been able to be made because set pieces don’t move.
The ending is a bit weird and the play is perhaps thirty minutes too long for the story to be told but it’s a great play and well worth seeing whilst it is on at the Harold Pinter until 12 June 2021.
Reviewed by West End Wilma