Small Change at the Omnibus Theatre: Review by Stephen Vowles

Astute and intricate acting does not come any better than this. With a cast of  four – Sioned Jones as Mrs Harte, Tameka Mortimer as Mrs Driscoll, Andy Rush as Gerard and Toby Gordon as Vincent – director George Richmond-Scott’s use of time is beautifully displayed, going back and forth from the 1950’s to the 1970’s, with the use of stunning and modern wooden beams and an artificial doorway that is used to great effect, and props moved by the actors themselves symbolising the change in location from indoors to outside. This play sets out to evoke a message: ‘What goes around comes around’.

To set the various scenes, Peter Gill the writer of Small Change, gets the four characters to make individual direct addresses to the audience. This serves as a superb plot device creating an atmosphere linked to the delivery of a very poetic and descriptive script. The rhythm of the play is stunning.

This is one of the best studies about male friendship – boyhood to manhood – that I’ve seen in recent years. And for the acting honours, special mention has to go to Rush as Gerard whose performance is spellbinding and quite awesome with a graceful quality to it. The sexual tension between him and Vincent is just beautiful to watch as neither of them understand what their attraction is to each other as boys – until they become men.

Through the two female characters Gill looks at tragedy linked to recrimination where they are trapped in a life – a total Catch 22 – dealing with abusive husbands where one of the women is strong and the other one weak and full of self loathing. Both actresses are formidable in their roles, bringing to life as mothers to the two lads and clearly showing that love comes in many forms.

The impetus of the play is maintained by the way each of the cast bring a feisty energy to their respective parts. Gripping, absorbing, hard-hitting; a true rollercoaster of emotions. Swift and resonant theatre at its best.


Small Change runs to Sunday 2nd October at the Omnibus Theatre, 1 Clapham Common Northside, London SW4 0QW. Box office: 0207 498 4699

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