Review: Shells

Review of Rough-Hewn’s ‘Shells’, by Howard Coase.

The Oxford Culture Review

Every Rough-Hewn production that I’ve seen has opened by throwing you straight into the drama. Rather than face the stage curtain upon entering the theatre, at least one of the actors is present on stage. The intimacy of the Pilch studio particularly lends itself to this style of presentation, the erosion of the performance/audience barrier suiting Rough-Hewn’s stated aim to present ‘visceral’ and ‘inescapable’ performances. The sensation that you have in some way intruded, as an audience member, upon a private moment or even another world is particularly appropriate for the latest production in their Wasted Earth season, Shells, by Howard Coase. A disorienting kaleidoscope of scenes and suggestions, the close of the play leaves you still trying to piece together the missing elements.

Lewis (James Kitchin) sits, shaking, in an armchair surrounded by sand. The world is slowly being submerged and he and his companion, Ben (Harley Viveash)…

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