Review: Invincible at the New Vic Theatre

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Torben Betts critically-acclaimed play, Invincible, kicks off the New Vic’s summer season with a clever combination of comedy and heartache.

Set in the north of England it tells the tale of two couples who lead very different lives.

Oliver (Alastair Whatley) and Emily (Emily Bowker) have relocated their family and are meeting their neighbours for the first time. Emily, a highly strung and emotional woman and Oliver, a quiet and awkward man, meet football loving, loud-mouth Alan (Graeme Brookes), and his attractive, ditsy wife, Dawn (Elizabeth Boag).

A get-together slowly deteriorates into an evening of hell, as social and class differences divide the two couples. The contrast between the couples is evident throughout, Oliver and Emma’s relationship is mostly frosty and Alan and Dawn’s is loving but tinged with sadness.

The chemistry between the four-strong cast is both entertaining and relatable.

The play beautifully addresses more serious issues such as politics, war and poverty with grace and honesty. It also shines a light on the struggles that parents can go through and how this can affect their relationship.

Arguments and sadness make the first act finish with a bang, keeping you gripped to your seat for what is next to come. The second act didn’t disappoint, as it had captivating scenes which highlighted heartbreak, true love and painful truths.

Elizabeth Boag as Dawn and Graeme Brookes as Alan in Invincible at New Vic Theatre. Image by Manuel Harlan.

Elizabeth Boag as Dawn and Graeme Brookes as Alan in Invincible at New Vic Theatre. Image by Manuel Harlan.

Graeme’s interpretation of Alan, makes him a comical yet loving character who often steals the show. Emily is equally as entrancing with her emotional, heart-wrenching and honest acting throughout.

Being in-the-round, the New Vic Theatre enables the audience to feel a part of the story and as if you were in the living room with the characters. This makes the awkward silences that bit more awkward (but hilarious) and the crude jokes that bit more hysterical.

With many exciting twists and turns, this play is unpredictable and leaves you wanting to know more.

Invincible is at the New Vic Theatre until Saturday 15 April 2017.

Visit the website for tickets.

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