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Mydidae review at the Other Room, Cardiff – ‘a confident production’

Matthew Raymond and Isabella Marshall in Mydidae at the Other Room, Cardiff. Photo: Jack Willingham

For its first ever production, new company OtherLife tackles Jack Thorne’s 2012 two-hander.

Marian and David are a young middle-class couple, seemingly content with one another but facing up to an unwanted anniversary. The action takes place entirely in their bathroom over the course of a day – a space in which they are, quite literally, at their most exposed. Through this voyeuristic prism, the loose threads of their relationship are gently picked away, always threatening to be dramatically yanked apart.

Mydidae is a troubling and, at times, troublesome play, slightly hamstrung by its self-conscious naturalism. Isabella Marshall and Matthew Raymond are very good as the couple whose everyday kindnesses and cruelties belie a relationship that has been inexorably scarred by past events. And director Simon Reeves and the design team of Ceci Calf and Will Gregory commit admirably to the hyper-realistic environment, with a naturalistic style and fully-functioning bathroom.

Unfortunately, despite Thorne’s observational talents and ability to find wit within the mundane, the opportunity for a more fulfilling exploration of a relationship’s quiet decay is missed amid the ablutions and the flossing. The play’s violent last act, including a peculiar final scene, feels at odds with what’s gone before.

OtherLife should be commended for taking on an engaging but difficult play. It’s a bold choice but there is plenty to enjoy in this production.

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Verdict
Jack Thorne’s troubling play is given a confident production by a fledgling company
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