Courtney Rose Brown
The dialogue is simple: with an emphasis on the back and forth of indecision, expectations not being met and bold confessions. I see parts of myself and people that I know in the show, their interactions are flawed and human. It is exceptional in its execution. The actors quickly establish a rhythm which, paired with the subtle design - a bare stage with only a white box painted on the ground and no props - relies heavily on the performance and on the script.
Hewison’s direction unifies the denseness of the script and the flow, using the fast pacing of speech in the back and forth of the performers (Aidee Walker and Arthur Meek) to aid understanding. The naturalistic dialogue expresses itself in the bubbling of conversations, the steady flow of monologues and streams of consciousness. Meek and Walker easily maintain this pace and flow, it is mesmerising to watch creating an engaging and dynamic performance.
Transitions are sharp. Jumps to different locations and times happen in milliseconds with a turn, an expression, a change in direction or in the pace of speech. The performers transition from one scene to the next with such skill that we don’t miss a beat and willingly follow the story in stride.
The chemistry that Meek and Walker are able to strike is remarkable. Touch is used sparingly to heighten moments of emotion and it is powerful when they do. Physical distance often separates the performers and the thrust staging of Circa Two suits how much they play out to the audience. These conventions make it feel like I’m an active part of their relationship and I too join them through this journey. The audience feels the pain of the couple as well as their joy, there are many moments when breaths are held and tears are being fought against as well as eruptions of laughter.
Lungs didn’t end with a standing ovation, but with the applause it received, it should have. Many of us stayed rooted in our seats; after spending 70 minutes in the lives of these characters we didn’t want to leave them. I left feeling slightly upset because the show had ended and I was still holding onto the relationship and the world of Lungs.
Lungs is a valuable piece of theatre for understanding people. It gave me insight into a slice of life I haven’t experienced, whilst at the same time validating emotions and interactions I have had. It provides understanding and comfort in being understood. Lungs is an inspiring piece of theatre and I absolutely recommend going to see the show, which runs until the 19th of November.