Feel by James Lewis. Directed by David Brady.

Feel, a small word with so many emotions packed within it. The one sentence that sums up this fantastically written play by James Lewis.

Set in two separate locations that many in the audience could relate to. The frustrations of delayed trains and the stranger you see every day taking a similar journey to your own. That strikes up a relationship. To a one night stand back on Jamies flat that potentially could be something more permanent.

The exploration of how each of the four characters feels and what has led them to feel this way searches the very soul of how human beings behave when they begin to feel what they fear the most.

The play almost embraces fear through the hard-faced very honest Naomi. She doesn’t want to feel anymore as it only leads to heartbreak. As we discover she ran away from her dying Father to save herself the pain. Ironically she has never grieved to feel the pain she needs to feel in order to feel love.

The important issue of men’s mental health is raised through Naomi’s one night stand Jamie. A very likeable man who opens up to the fact he is vulnerable and lonely. Sick of pointless one night stands he just wants to “feel something once” and “someone to give a shit”. The basic concept of to love and be loved. This should be such an easy thing to achieve. It is just a feeling after all!

The imagery through the only solo dialogue in the play is delivered by Nick. We discover his deep dark secret that his life is short due to heart problems. His writer skills are expressed with raw emotions tied up in an extremely moving scene. Although I felt it was not confirmed that he has died towards the end of the play this didn’t spoil anything. Sometimes in life, we don’t have closure.

Karen has become stuck in a routine of waiting for time to pass on a train platform and a job she is unfulfilled in. Her dream to be an actress is reignited by Nick. Their brief relationship and his heart condition teach her that life is too short to simply wait for something to just happen and take you on to your next destination.

As with many fringe theatre productions you are not treated to the idealistic view that they all lived happily ever after. How could they it would not be in keeping with the concept of the diversity and reflection of trying something new?

I guarantee that every audience member will “feel” a host of emotions through watching this brilliantly directed and acted play. As in many cases, art imitates life and this play is staunchly placed within the real world of complicated relationships and feelings.

The play runs for over two hours and despite the seats being slightly uncomfortable, the time passes without feeling the need to clock watch at any point.

A definite must see for any avid fringe theatre fan or a brilliant introduction for any first-timers.

Four stars.

Playing at The Space from 5th-16th February 2019.

1st and 2nd March-Upstairs at the Western.

3rd March-The Albany Theatre.

8th and 9th March-The Lion and Unicorn Theatre.

For more information go to http://www.proforca.co.uk

@ProforcaTheatre

@davidbrady83

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