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 The Theatreguide.London Review


Some Kind of Bliss
Trafalgar Studio 2, Winter 2007

In Samuel Adamson's monologue play a woman takes a stroll that becomes a journey into her past and into herself.

At least that's what it's meant to be. What it actually is is a rather pointless shaggy dog story that really goes nowhere but is occasionally entertaining along the way.

Directed by Toby Frow, Lucy Briers plays a hack pop journalist on her way to interview Lulu for a piece on how lovely her home is. With time to spare, she impulsively decides to walk along the Thames, leading to a series of unplanned adventures - having sex with a teenage boy, being mugged by a Vietnamese ice cream man, stealing his van, and killing a dog.

Also unplanned are the ways these events trigger memories, particularly of the bad boy she was attracted to at university, who has grown into a slimy adult, and of the nice-but-dull boy she ended up with, who has become her nice-but-dull husband.

Briers relates and enacts all this with considerable energy, intensified by the intimacy of the 80-seat Trafalgar Studio 2. And the writing has enough occasional wit to recapture our attention if it flags (e.g., Among her memories are a musician uncle who played in a tribute band called Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Croydon).

But the whole thing is shapeless, its various pieces never connecting. Why these particular adventures, in this order, and why do they trigger these particular memories and the rather abrupt and - if you happen not to catch one throwaway line - easily missed epiphany they generate?

The only forward momentum of the piece is that a flash-forward tells us she is eventually going to get to Lulu's and do her interview, but the monologue as a whole just meanders toward no particular conclusion, and is too likely, even at barely over an hour, to seem endless.

 Gerald Berkowitz

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Review - Some Kind of Bliss - Trafalgar 2007