Review: Desolate Heaven

Written for The Stage

Desolate Heaven is a potent coming of age story. Two girls burdened with caring for their parents run away together. On their travels they meet three strange women – played with rather discombobulating relish by Tony Award-winner Brid Brennan – who help them.

Opaque references to the early 20th century poet WB Yeats are everywhere, from the story that each woman tells the girls – The Lazy Beauty and Her Aunts, which appeared in a collection he edited – to the poem the play ends on – The Stolen Child. But the meaning behind these references is unclear and they cloud the affecting story of love and betrayal between Orlaith and Sive.

Carla Langley as the frank Orlaith is as brittle as glass but breaks just as easily, while as the gentler Sive Evelyn Lockley infuses the stage with a warm but fragile tenderness. Their relationship is utterly compelling and these two actresses have a great understanding of each other’s roles.

Paul Robinson’s imaginative direction and Steve Kirkham’s movement work make this a dynamic production. But for all their effort Desolate Heaven is eventually weighed down by its own Yeatsian mystique.

Runs until 2nd March 2013. For more information go here

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