In the truly intimate space such as the black box studio that is The Brockley Jack Theatre, we as an audience are brought into the equally intimate production that is Adam & Eve by Tim Cook. The story revolves around the young married couple, aptly named Adam (Christopher Adams) and Eve (Jeannie Dickinson) who appear to know each other inside and out. But when Adam has an issue at work with Nikki (Anuschka Rapp), the characters, and the audience, are forced to look deeper into what it means to trust someone, and to be trusted.
To begin with, the relationship between Adam and Eve is in its honeymoon period, portrayed through their quick-fire responses, timed perfectly with speaking the same lines simultaneously. With Paul Macauley’s direction, Dickinson’s portrayal of Eve is witty with a splash of dry humour, whilst Adams’ Adam is cheeky but means well. They perfectly reflect the kind of relationship where the bickering is light-hearted, and they know how to push each other’s buttons. This is soon challenged by Rapp’s character Nikki, who appears to be one of Adam’s more challenging students at the school he teaches at. She seems to be frustrated with the world, making her the typical ‘angsty’ teen on the surface. Her development as the piece goes on is one that will shock you, as the events which take place leave you guessing until the very end.
The naturalistic style of acting is juxtaposed with the minimalistic set design (Paul Macauley and Vicky Winning), as the space consists of three white boxes and the back wall is dressed with strips of canvas painted to resemble birch trees. The audience is seated around the stage, and there is a constant yet subtle flow of fog throughout the play, which successfully creates a foreboding atmosphere, as if the couple’s lovely relationship is too good to be true. The lighting (Ben Jacobs) is used to outline the edges of the stage, as well as suggest changes in scenery, and the stylised scene transitions, where the lights fade to low and the music (Aran Knight) is also low and pulsing, pushes the stakes ever higher.
With themes which have been relevant throughout history, Broken Silence Theatre’s Adam & Eve is a gripping sixty-five minutes. We are taken on a journey along with the characters, questioning their actions at every turn, and possibly even questioning yourself once you have left the theatre.
Adam and Eve played at the Brockley Jack Theatre until September 2.