Review: Adam & Eve

4 star rating
Tim Cook's cleverly-written and compelling play lures the audience into jumping to wrong conclusions in a world where seemingly unquestionable factual data can be a tissue of lies.
Adam & Eve at Jack Studio Theatre

Image: Jack Studio Theatre


Theatre: Hope Theatre

Closes here: Saturday 9 June 2018

Author:
Tim Cook

Director:
Jennifer Davis

Cast:

Lee Knight - Adam

Jeannie Dickinson - Eve

Melissa Parker - Nikki


Synopsis


A modern day Genesis story.


What does it say about the state of our relationship.


If one small thing comes along.


And destroys it forever?


Newlyweds Adam and Eve are moving to the countryside, leaving the city behind for good.


They're going to buy a house, start a family and live happily ever after.


But when Adam is suspended from work and accusations are made, they're forced to question how well they really know each other.


What lurks beneath the surface?


And how can their marriage survive in a post-truth society?


Adam & Eve is a startling new play about trust and the nature of accusations from award-winning Royal Court Young Writer Tim Cook.


Background


Adam & Eve is a startling new play about trust, feminism and the nature of accusations from award-winning Royal Court Young Writer Tim Cook.


It comes to The Hope Theatre after a critically acclaimed run last year.


ActDrop reviews


Peter Brown

Performance date: Thursday 24 May 2018
Review star rating image for 3 stars

Don't be misled by the title of this play by Tim Cook.


It really has nothing at all to do with God and religion - even if there is a clear reference to 'forbidden fruit'.


But it does have a lot to do with trust - in several senses - and how two versions of the same story can be very different, and persuasive.


In a way, Adam & Eve is almost a whodunnit, with a sting in the tail that strikes home hard when the truth is revealed.


Right at the start, we know this is going to be a gritty play because Adam and Eve seem estranged and at odds with each other.


However, after a brief opening scene, we quickly move back into the past to examine how they got together, married and bought a house with the intention of raising kids.


Eve is an estate agent and Adam a school teacher, or at least he was.


As we see them finding their first home, they seem well-matched and content.


But when Adam's school starts to investigate allegations about his relationship with one of his teenage students, the couple's relationship starts to fall apart.


The physical appearance of the main protagonists - Lee Knight's Adam and Jeannie Dickinson's Eve - is strikingly similar.


Director Jennifer Davis gives them both almost identical tied-back hairstyles and very similar clothes, lending something of a gender-neutral feel to the characters' identities.


And since there's no set to speak of, the focus is almost entirely on what the characters say and do, lending a courtroom drama feel to proceedings.


Subtlety is the hallmark of Ms Davis's admirable direction, particularly in terms of the description of Adam.


Lee Knight suggests that Adam is not all he appears to be - but it's hard to pin-down just why we feel that way about him.


There's an underlying arrogance about the man, or maybe he's a touch over-confident, or perhaps he fancies himself as something of a playboy preferring to buy a Ferrari than spending a huge sum on raising a child.


Tenuous though it may be, there's something in his demeanour that makes us question his motives and actions, even if his explanations about events taking place at his school seem plausible and innocent.


Jeannie Dickinson seems to pick up on the same things that we do about her husband.


Though she's initially supportive of her spouse she's also quick to ditch her trust and jump to conclusions especially when evidence materialises that seems to condemn him.


Divining fact from fiction is the essential work of the law courts, but it's also an increasingly important matter for everyone as we're continually bombarded by ever increasing quantities of seemingly factual information.


Though GDPR came into force today to protect personal data, it can't save us from the persuasive power of fake data and, as this piece powerfully demonstrates, it leaves us still facing age-old questions about how we tell if something is true, how injustices can be prevented and what part trust plays in our judgements.


Cleverly-written, nuanced and totally absorbing, Adam & Eve ably reminds us that we need to be ever on our guard and not jump so readily to reach, possibly erroneous, conclusions.



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