Abigail, 4 Stars

Tuesday 10th January–Saturday 4th February2017
The Bunker


WRITER Fiona Doyle
DIRECTOR Joshua McTaggart
LIGHTING DESIGNER Christopher Nairne
PRODUCERS Zoe Robinson
and Joel Fisher

PHOTO CREDIT Jasper Soloff


WOMAN Tia Bannon
MAN Mark Rose

“The world premiere of Abigail by Papatango award-winning playwright Fiona Doyle will close The Bunker’s highly-acclaimed inaugural season. Abigail will be directed by The Bunker’s Artistic Director, Joshua McTaggart. Originally written in 2013 when it was long-listed for the Bruntwood Prize, The Bunker’s production stars Tia Bannon (The Winter’s Tale and Pericles, The Globe) and Mark Rose (King Lear, The Old Vic; Hangmen, Royal Court).

In a snow-covered Berlin, a young woman meets a middle-aged man and they fall in love. As the year progresses, they fall apart. Told across a fractured timeline where the past and present collide, Abigail explores the fragility of love and the desperate measures we all go to in order to keep control in an unpredictable world. How far would you go to take control? Would you lie? Would you fight? Would you scream and shout or shut down and cry? In a world where so many things are out of our control, what happens when the one thing you think you need is the one thing you cannot have?”

 Review by Joseph Thomas, 4 Stars

This was my first visit to The Bunker and it did not disappoint!

As soon I entered this quirky fringe venue I was greeted by the impressive set, made even more impressive by the size of the venue. Max Dorey has created a gorgeous but simplistic set using a formation of boxes at the back of the stage. The shipping crate style boxes are constantly repurposed throughout the show and are a brilliant assistant to the plot. Although the lighting rig is simple, made up of mainly source four par’s with scrollers, the naturalistic lighting is beautiful and really works for this show. Lighting Designer, Christopher Nairne does a fantastic job of transporting us to different locations and without it the jumpy plot would be difficult to grasp as an audience member. The sound design by Andrew Josephs played a massive part in this production. Although subtle in places the sound design helped to add tension and atmosphere to the piece. For a brilliantly adapted car park this venue has a very versatile rig and a great sound system! As the show progressed the nuances of Max Dorey’s design were revealed and were continually impressive. One central shipping container had a door in it, which wasn’t used until near the end of the show, when the door was opened it turned out to be a shower with what looked like running water which was an inspired design element. At the very end of the show some of the boxes lit up with light shining through little windows like houses viewed from an aeroplane, this was a lovely image to end the show on.

I have to mention the incredible performances given by Tia Bannon and Mark Rose. They were both polished completely owned the stage. Both Tia and Mark are utterly transfixing on stage assisted by Joshua McTaggart’s Direction.

In summary, a beautifully simple but layered scenic design, great sound design (in fact some of the best I have heard) and great lighting design that transports the audience all around a snow covered Berlin. The Bunker is definitely a venue to keep an eye on and I am keen to see what other brilliant projects they produce.

Review by
Joe Thomas

Age recommendation 14+.
Tickets are available priced £19.50 (£15 concessions).
Previews are priced at £12.
Ten £10 tickets are available at each performance for under 25s.
Available from http://bunkertheatre.com and 0207 234 0486.