Dark Sublime, 5 Stars

Dark Sublime
Trafalgar Studios 2
25th June to 3rd August 2019

“Oli arrives at the door of Marianne, a fading jobbing actress. He’s impatient to make an impression, to make a friend. Marianne knows about waiting – for her turn at something more substantial than a half-remembered role on a cult TV show, for her best friend to see her differently. As Oli forces her back into the past, and a strange, outrageous world she hasn’t visited in almost 40 years, Marianne must find her own way into the future. Together they begin to discover what every good relationship needs: time and space.
Dark Sublime boldly explores the complexities of relationships, especially in the LGBTQ community. Considering what later life is like for older gay women as well as the next generation, it contrasts bittersweet lived experiences with real humour.
This thrilling debut play by Michael Dennis is a theatrical love-letter to British sci-fi television which examines the feeling of belonging that comes with finding your place among the outcasts. Fans will do anything for their heroes, but what if your biggest fan is your closest companion?”

Review by Richard Lambert, 5 Stars

What can you say about a play starring Marina Sirtis who actually played Deanna Troi in Star Trek: the Next Generation who is now playing an ageing performer who’s character is that she used to play Ragana in a sci-fi series “Dark Sublime”. Is that acting or is that just reality? Either way, Marina Sirtis is the perfect casting for this role. Zany one-liners from a fabulous script while wearing 10 inch heels in her own flat!

With a script that is outrageously hilarious from Michael Dennis, and great comic timing from both Marina and Jacqueline King (playing Kate), the laughs come thick and often.

Where the play really excels is the tongue-in cheek humour about their situations. Marianna pretends she’s not bothered but in reality she craves the good old days of fame. And then there are little snippets of scenes from an alternative universe where Vykar enters as a Spaceship’s Commander carrying some stun-gun style weapon. These little scenes are so ridiculous that they’re really funny! You can’t help but laugh at their absurdity! Surprisingly they do manage to come together to form some sense of justification in their final scene.

The Set (Tim McQuillen-Wright) is detailed and solid enough to allow door slams and not look flimsy, with lots of quirky details like a pulsating pineapple lamp and a coffee table with inset LED lights that becomes a spaceship control console. The passion behind creating all this is immense and carries through the production.

Neill Brinkworth‘s lighting suits the play and is a combination of naturalistic settings interlaced with saturated colours and effects for the Sci-Fi interludes. Quite a range brought out from the lighting rig but with lots of additional practicals to decorate.

Sarah Weltman on Sound Design is pure genius – considerately mixed with beautiful underscores and punch Sound FX where needed. Quite a range of Sounds balanced to never intrude, just support! This is a rarity and a joy!

Rigmarole Productions have created a top quality production here, one to be proud of! Bravo to all involved!

This play will bring out the adult child in you. It’s fun and silly and reflective of our own lives in so many ways.

Don’t let this opportunity to treat yourself to a fun night out pass you by!

Photo Credit: Scott Rylander

Marianne Marina Sirtis
Kosley Mark Gatiss
Kate Jacqueline King
Oli Kwaku Mills
Bob/Vykar Simon Thorp
Suzanne Sophie Ward

Director Andrew Keates
Writer Michael Dennis
Designer Tim McQuillen-Wright
Lighting Designer Neil Brinkworth
Composer Matthew Strachan
Casting Director Harry Blumenau
Producer Jamie Chapman Dixon and Piers Cottee-Jones for Rigmarole Productions in association with Arion Productions, M.Green Productions and J.W. Carter Productions.

Twitter and Instagram @DarkSublimePlay, @TrafStudios

Further Information

Performance Dates
Tuesday 25 June – Saturday 3 August 2019
Monday – Saturday, 7:45pm
Thursday and Saturday, 3pm
Relaxed Performance Tuesday 2 July, 7.45pm
BSL Interpreted Performance Wednesday 17 July, 7.45pm and Tuesday 30 July, 7.45pm

Post-Show Q&As Tuesday 2 July and Wednesday 17 July, with more to be announced.

Location Trafalgar Studios, 14 Whitehall, London SW1A 2DY

Box Office Tickets are available from the Trafalgar Studios Box Office, https://www.atgtickets.com/venues/trafalgar-studios/
and 0844 871 7632 priced from £25 – £35.

How to get there Trafalgar Studios is located on Whitehall. The nearest underground stations are Charing Cross (on the Bakerloo and Northern lines), Embankment (on the Bakerloo, Northern, Circle and District lines), Westminster (on the Jubilee, Circle and District lines) and Leicester Square (on the Northern and Piccadilly lines). The nearest rail station is Charing Cross.

Running time 2 hours with an interval