Written by Philip Osment
Directed by Julia Samuels
Unity Theatre
31st January - 2nd February 2013

Reviewed by Jennifer Keegan

Written by Phillip Osment, Whole explores notions of sexuality through the eyes of four friends on the cusp of adulthood. From the beginning we learn that this young but very talented cast are not actors – the exception being Nathalie who has been hired to pay the part of Holly – but rather friends who felt the need to tell the story of their friend, Holly.

As Dylan, Chantal, Joseph and Holly(Nathalie) guide us through their tragic history and stories, we witness a simple story develop into something much more powerful. The emotion the small cast portrayed was mesmerising, it felt as if they were opening their souls for us to look into and feel their pain. A sudden outburst toward the end changed everything the audience thought and felt, I was gripped by the cast’s tortured portrayal and couldn’t take my eyes from the stage. This proved even more impressive with the revelation at the end of the performance.

I was instantly impressed, the writing was superb with each twist only adding to the pace and complexity of the story. The cast was outstanding. Chantal soared with her singing – perhaps a little wasted on such a small stage – her voice was pure and wonderfully strong. Joseph really shined with his ability to connect with the audience, instantly likeable with that cheeky glint in his eyes. Holly/Nathalie was not instantly likeable but wonderfully played, the confusion and angst all wrapped up in her anger and disappointment made for a wonderful show and she definitely did the story justice. However, for me there was one character that simply stole the show, Dylan was magnificent, his inner struggle was played out beautifully and at one point I shed a small tear whilst watching him. This is the best show I have seen at Unity in some time, truly astounding.

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