Review: ★★★★ Prism, Birmingham Repertory Theatre

PRISM enters the West Midlands from London’s Hampstead Theatre, cleverly telling the story of Jack Cardiff. That may not be a household name – but the Cinematographer played by Robert Lindsay captured many.

Told through family dynamics and the often familiar perils of Dementia, Prism tells the life story of Jack Cardiff, while also making itself hugely relatable. A son who wants his father to record his stories on paper, a wife who has been forgotten, a carer who brings a fresh perspective, and a man who is hilariously confused. Making dementia funny is no small task but this production has perfected it. It is tender and thoughtful but simultaneously very amusing, a testament to the four incredibly talented actors.

While Robert Lindsay rarely leaves the stage and plays Jack Cardiff with class and finesse, it is Victoria Blunt who gives an exquisite demonstration of what it is to be diverse and adaptable as an actor. All four cast members bring a different dimensions to this story which results in a dynamic production.

The set hardly changes throughout the performance, with the majority of the tale being told in a garage purpose built for Cardiff by his Son, with the intention of Jack writing a book about his fascinating life. While unchanged, every detail in the garage serves a purpose in recounting details about Jack’s life, as well as serving as cause for confusion in Jack’s current battle with Dementia and his memory.

Prism is disjointed in places but this does not detract from the exquisite storytelling and execution.


Emma Betty

Emma Betty
Emma Betty

Emma Betty is 28 and a nurse in Birmingham Children’s Hospital’s Paediatric Intensive Care Unit. Emma has the Les Miserables 10th Anniversary Soundtrack (On CD!) to blame for her love for Musical Theatre, which she found in her parents living room pretty much as soon as she was old enough to know what it was. She began combining her love for Theatre, the Internet and Writing while she was still at school, through various blogs and on social media. Having moved to London in 2013, she launched Upper Circle 4 years later. A couple of years on, she is delighted to have a small team and is so grateful to those helping Upper Circle to grow every day!

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