Be Born starts with a long preamble of poetry, some learnt, some read. Maybe there is an idea behind the reading part of it but it just feels very amateur and like as if one could not be bothered to learn few lines. Few themes are explored such as childhood, connections and London and, although it feels long and difficult to follow at times, overall it works well as an introduction to the play that is about to start.
Eventually the trio comes in: Ben (David East), Shaz (Abigail Sewell) and Tyrice (Christian Graham). The play is set in the park. The design of the set is well thought and recreates the atmosphere of a playground with a picnic table and leaves scattered around, a space where people come for a drink and general catch up at the end of the day. The play is supposed to be at night, yet the lighting is very bright and therefore confuses the audience who has to remind themselves the time of the day for the story to make sense.
Ben is back after he left 5 years ago. His ex-girlfriend is pregnant and he lost his job. He reached out to his old friends, the people who know him better than anyone else. The play unfolds as a general catch up and takes us on a journey of re-discovery and nostalgia. There is nothing better than meeting up with old friends you haven’t seen or heard from in several years, but sometimes, picking up your friendship where you left off can be tricky. A lot can happen in even a few short years, and chances are, neither of you resemble the people you were when you were close friends. There is some awkwardness, small talks and the much needed drinks to loosen up the conversation. There are also the gossips from the past who helps the audience get to grips with the journey the three protagonists have been on.
However Be Born overall lacks energy. The characters are embarking on a journey but it is flat, there is no drama, it is literally three friends catching up ad making small talks. The acting is for the most part very amateur, no energy, things are not flowing and actors are playing the emotions most of the time. It’s ok if a character cannot cry as long as there are the right intentions behind. There are few occurrences when they try to inject some drama to the play but they all fall flat because of the lack of intention and lack of build up behind these actions.
There are definitely some themes worth exploring in Be Born but both the writing and the delivery are clumsy. The play definitely needs some re-work and fine tuning.
Be Born plays at The Space until June 30th.