Theatre Review – See Bob Run


See Bob Run
The Bread and Roses Theatre, Clapham
Written by Daniel MacIvor
Directed by Scott Le Crass


Reviewer: Laura Shoebottom

See Bob Run by Daniel MacIvor follows Bob (Louise McMenemy) who is on the run. We don’t know from whom or what but from the outset the atmosphere is palpable and the audience is transported on a journey from start to finish. 

Exploring the themes of love and loneliness, McMenemy (who also produces the show alongside Bradley Leech) plays a beautiful range of emotions both vocally and physically. See Bob Run is a real coming of age drama which explores childlike freedom and the bitterness of adulthood as the illusion of Bob’s childhood shatters. She is faced with heartbreaking situations and choices which are play out as the performance advances. There is a charm and poignancy in the princess story as she reveals her hopes and ideals – using real passion to enhance the storytelling. The action reaches several climaxes then mellows out only to build again. McMenemy uses fantastic vocal and physical variation in each section of dialogue which keeps the audience connected to the character throughout.

As the story develops there is a sense of bitter resentment and abject fear when Bob relives her past relationships and experiences. The dialogue starts off with a bounding light-hearted energy which gradually shifts into anger and frustration, giving a real weight to the character – the progression from one emotion to the other is created so subtly and has a huge impact on the audience,  creating a brilliantly tense atmosphere. Although there is no one else on stage, McMenemy’s reactions are so detailed that the audience are left in no doubt where she is, who she is talking to and what is happening.

The space is set simply in promenade with set design by Richard Cooper. The centre of the stage is made to resemble a road, with a car made of wooden boxes at one end and vintage stereos at the other. This intricate design almost sections off each part of Bob’s journey as she switches from describing her past to interacting in the car. Coupled with clever lighting, mainly made up of spotlights that are occasionally made to look like headlights, this intimate space is used to it’s absolute fullest. 

Accompanying this production is brilliant music. From the offset it has a sense of eerie foreboding and is very heavy and dark, completely building on the action so the audience are left not knowing what is going to happen until it does. Alister Hawke’s new composition works perfectly in one particular heightened moment of the show, building gradually after starting with soft, enticing vocals. The tension and atmosphere are almost tangible and the audience are drawn in and then shocked with a final revelation. 

A really poignant story filled with humour, anger and painfully raw emotion – a truthful and emotional performance. 

Runs until 27th February 2016