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Lose Yourself review at Sherman Theatre, Cardiff – ‘gripping exploration of celebrity’

Katherine Chandler’s play is, for the most part, a gripping three-hander. Three people’s lives hurtle towards the sweet release of a booze-filled night out. Only it’s a night out that will have life-changing repercussions for all.

Chandler and director Patricia Logue ramp up the tension, a foreboding sense of menace hanging over what is, at times, an enjoyable watch.

Josh (Tim Preston) seemingly has the most to lose as a young professional footballer with an injury that threatens his career before it’s really started. He’s a working-class lad who knows he has no plan B.

Aaron Anthony plays lecherous star striker Nate with the chilling confidence of a man who’s never been told no – he’s utterly confounded when a young mum confronts him for stroking her bum in a cafe. But it’s Yaz (Gabrielle Creevy) we’re drawn to most, recently turned down for a job on a beauty counter, despite her level-2 NVQ certificate. The excellent Creevy, in her first professional stage role, imbues her with a sensitivity that betrays her tough-girl exterior, her expletive-filled monologues lurching from the lascivious to the lyrical.

For all the fizzing one-liners, Lose Yourself’s earthy humour is inevitably consumed by darker forces, with Nate’s actions – a relic of the pre-#MeToo age – leading all three characters into an abyss (and yet, one feels, Nate will be the only one to climb out). It’s a nuanced, moving play that draws on recent real-life cases but offers an insight without the tabloid hyperbole.

Playwright Katherine Chandler: ‘Welsh work can be brutal – but it reflects what’s happening here’ [1]

Verdict
Tense and gripping exploration of aspiration, opportunity and celebrity

Production Information

Production
Lose Yourself
Venue
Sherman Theatre
City
Cardiff
Starts
May 10, 2019
Ends
May 25, 2019
Press night
May 14, 2019
Authors
Katherine Chandler
Director
Patricia Logue
Set
Carla Goodman
Lighting
Andy Pike
Sound
Sam Jones
Cast includes
Aaron Anthony, Gabrielle Creevy, Tim Preston
Producer
Sherman Theatre
Running time
1hr 20mins