Review: ★★★ Adam and Eve, The Hope Theatre

Review: ★★★ Adam and Eve, The Hope Theatre

Akin to a modern-day Genesis story, newlyweds Adam (Lee Knight) & Eve (Jeannie Dickinson) appear destined to be together. Following in the path of their biblical namesakes, their idyllic paradise is destroyed when Adam is accused of tasting the forbidden fruit which – in a present day twist- is young pupil, Nikki (Melissa Parker).

Doubt is an unsettling emotion and director Jennifer Davis plays on this by ensuring there’s a sustained level of tension throughout; continually keeping the audience guessing. Furthermore, the snug studio space of The Hope Theatre is perfect for making the audience uncomfortably privy to the intimate and intensely personal breakdown of a marriage.

A crumpled paper cloud floats high above the stage, the only piece of scenery present in Sorcha Corcoran’s set design. It seems rather under-utilised and requires a great deal of imagination from the audience when drawing parallels to the Garden of Eden. Ultimately, Tim Cook’s writing is strong enough to stand alone.

The fast paced dialogue is handled well by all and the casting of Knight as the alleged charmer is perfect. Jeannie Dickinson gives a strong and determined performance as Eve, brilliantly conveying a mix of vulnerability and resolution. The character of Nikki needs more development from Cook but Parker does a fine job as the beguiling schoolgirl nonetheless.

Hidden within the confines of Adam & Eve is another piece of famous literature: Jane Eyre. Widely considered to be one of the first feminist novels, it’s drawn a lot of criticism from twenty-first century feminists. This changing face of gender politics is revealed to have an important role in the piece, yet it’s barely present throughout, so when the big reveal does come it feels disconnected and thoughtless. Nevertheless, as the audience has followed Adam & Eve’s relationship from its creation, it remains a heartbreaking and thought-provoking finale.

Chloe Hoey 

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