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Four Minutes Twelve Seconds

“Timely and nuanced revival”

In a week that has seen the conviction of Harvey Weinstein, James Fritz’s thought-provoking 2014 play about consent, power and the internet’s ability to shame has never seemed more prescient. It charts the events that unfold when a sex tape appears on the internet. Seventeen-year-old Jack is at the centre of the furore, but he never appears on stage. Instead, Jack and his actions emerge from the unreliable narratives of those who surround him.

Chris Lawson and Natasha Harrison’s sensitive direction ensures that we invest in the characters and their situation. The bickering between Jack’s parents, Di (Jo Mousley) and David (Lee Toomes), is believably executed; they talk over each other, interrupt each other and leave conversations to tail off. There’s also a welcome dose of humour within their exchanges to offer some light within the shade.

Di and David’s outfits, together with the immaculate cream décor of their house, reflect their comfortable, middle-class privilege. Clear distinctions are drawn between their desire to appear respectable and the lower status of Jack’s ex-girlfriend, Cara (Alyce Liburd). Liburd’s performance is well-judged, suggesting distress through glistening eyes instead of histrionics. Jack’s friend, Nick (Noah Olaoye) is also subtly drawn.

A mirrored frame surrounds Anna Reid’s set – a reminder that contemporary life is continually being reflected in the events on stage. Fritz’s play requires audience members to reassess their view of the characters as fresh evidence comes to light. This revival effectively sustains this intrigue without sacrificing plausibility.

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Production Details
Production nameFour Minutes Twelve Seconds
VenueOldham Coliseum
StartsFebruary 21, 2020
EndsMarch 7, 2020
Running time1hr 55mins
AuthorJames Fritz
DirectorChris Lawson, Natasha Harrison
Set designerAnna Reid
Lighting designerStewart Bartles
Sound designerAndrew Glassford
CastAlyce Liburd, Jo Mousley, Lee Toomes, Noah Olaoye
ProducerOldham Coliseum
VerdictTimely, nuanced and well-performed revival of James Fritz’s insightful play about the impulse to share
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Natalie Douglas

Natalie Douglas

Natalie Douglas

Natalie Douglas

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