REVIEW: Under

This poetic play will pull you Under into a world of lingering memories.  

Performed by Chris Green and written by the award-winning playwright Cassandra Tse, Under will move you to the depths of sadness, splash you with humour, and wash your cheeks with emotion.

It is an intimate and deeply moving piece of work which tells the story of a woman named May who has disappeared – and a man who loves her and would do anything to find her.

At times this play laps at the edges of poetry, it’s lyrical language tenderly coaxing the audience into a world filled with love, laughter, and ultimately pain.

So inviting is the language that when Green speaks of salty lips, you can almost taste the beach, smell the waves and feel that sun kissing your shoulders.

The same goes for the melancholy in this story. For those who can relate to its subject matter, Green easily returns you, sometimes reluctantly, to situations you’ve been in yourself and can still feel the keen sting of.  

Green’s portrayal is heartwarming and heartbreaking all at once, and together with Tse they present an ode to the tenacity of loving partners. Under is a homage to the strength it takes to keep caring for someone who quite simply, is just not there anymore.

The technical aspects of Under are simple, allowing the story to rightfully take centre stage. However, clever use of watery dream-like lighting adds to the ambience and helps to shift the story between memories and present day.

Under is a charming, emotive play, and it’s easy to see why it has been shortlisted for Auckland Theatre Company’s The Next Stage programme, and was commended for the Publishers Associations of New Zealand Long Play Award in 2017.

This is a beautifully crafted piece of work, and one that won’t be easily forgotten.

REVIEW
Under
4th Wall Theatre
Friday February 22
Reviewed by Taryn Utiger