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In the Light Everything Is Brighter review at Bristol Old Vic – ‘promising, but formulaic’

The cast of In the Light Everything is Brighter at Bristol Old Vic. Photo: Mark Douet
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Wilderbeast is a group of young theatre makers on Bristol Old Vic’s Made in Bristol programme.

The company’s first show In the Light Everything is Brighter follows 22 year old Elliot (Oscar Adams), a young man who is increasingly unhappy about his lot in life. Living at home and working a supermarket job he hates, Elliot is plagued by an inner monster (played by Toby Pritchard).

Chris Owen’s domestic set design becomes increasingly cluttered with all sorts of refuse as Elliot’s anxiety levels rise. The band – Nell O’Hara, Dominic Beddard Coll, Xahnaa Adlam and Hannah Hecheverria – neatly score the performance with confident vocals and percussion. The cast are a cohesive ensemble, working well together and making the most of the production’s somewhat formulaic content.

Given that it’s only an hour long, the show doesn’t cover much ground. The characters are thin and over-familiar and the literal representation of Elliot’s internal struggle croaks around stage. Coupled with the musical interjections of a critical crooner, it’s a representative element too far.

Though some elements of the show are a little hackneyed directors Patrick Bate and Thomas Davis bring some interesting absurdist ideas in to the play and the company has an eye for the dramatic possibilities in the disjuncture between the mimed and real. Wilderbeast will no doubt benefit from better material in the future.

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Promising work from an emerging company that too quickly becomes a formulaic angst-fest