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Our Glass House review at A house in Bradford Yorkshire

We traverse Bradford’s notorious Thorpe Edge estate before being invited to let ourselves into a council house with a riot of a lawn strewn with empties. The icy wind is lashing in off the Pennines and some of the action takes place outside. It’s all very grim but the audience is already enthralled.

There are seven rooms each with a different tale to tell, with one common theme – domestic violence. We walk about as we choose, watching the actors soliloquise, sleepwalk past us, battling with their personal demons, slowly, slowly revealing the threads of their tragic lives.

We meet Helen (Corinna Marlowe), Cambridge graduate, who might have lived an interesting life had her husband not imprisoned her, burned her books, chopped up her piano. Nicola (Liz Simmons) is pregnant again having lost all her previous babies after severe beatings. Young Kayleigh (Kirsty Armstrong) who likes to wear red and practise pole dancing is being almost drowned by her insanely jealous partner. And Sufiya (Balvinder Sopal) is condemned to a life of drudgery. Poor paranoid Dan (James Lewis) is barricading himself in, fearful of his partner’s temper – and the boy Charlie (Kyran Jobson) sits forlornly at windows trying to pass unnoticed.

This is the latest attempt by Common Wealth, a site-specific company based in Bristol, to bring theatre to the people, be about the people and give them a sense of involvement. It was written after interviews with scores of men and women. They’re taking it to the Edinburgh Fringe and it’s bound to receive tremendous acclaim. It’s simply wonderful.

Production Information

A house in Bradford, Yorkshire, February 26-March 9

Author
Aisha Zia
Directors
Evie Manning, Rhiannon White
Producer
Common Wealth
Cast
Liz Simmons, Corinna Marlowe, Balvinder Sopal, Kirsty Armstrong, James Lewis, Kyran Jobson
Running time
1hr 15mins

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