REVEALED, the new play by actor and writer Daniel J Carver at Bristol’s Tobacco Factory until 8th October, is a shattering experience for both its actors and audiences, astonishingly intense and immediate.
The three-hander is directed by the venue’s associate director Jay Zorenti-Nakhid, set in the rundown cafe owned by Sidney’s family, in which his son Malcolm has recently taken an interest. The action all happens on the day when a 16-year-old black boy, probably beaten up by police in custody, dies.
The streets are in ferment when Luther, Malcolm’s son, takes refuge in the family restaurant with his grandfather. As the condition of the hospitalised boy and the response of the growing crowds are reported via mobile phones, the three generations of men try to sort out the historic problems in the family.
This is a story about a specific community, but it’s also a timeless and universal story of the lies, evasions and deceits that shatter family life and carve indelible scars into relationships.
Writer Carver plays Malcolm with a ferocious physical and psychological tension that fills every square inch of the Tobacco Factory as he tries to control his anger, pain and resentment.
Dylan Brady, known to Corrie audiences as Danny Tomlinson, brilliantly captures the confusion and insecurity of Luther, face changing from bravery and certainty to blank, numbed terror.
Everal A Walsh, best known as a voice-over artist, brings a huge range of memories as a dutiful son, popular friend, striving and failing husband, insecure father and striving Christian, to vivid life.
All this is done is 90 minutes of powerful dialogue and acting. The play is produced by Red Earth Collective and the Tobacco Factory. The programme describes the collective’s goals as “challenging mental health stigma and discrimination experienced by racialised and marginalised communities”. If that all sounds a bit heavy and worthy, don’t be put off.
This is dazzling theatre that shines a much needed light on prejudice, preconception and
deception – unrestricted facets of the human condition.
Make a real effort to see this magnetic play.
Photographs by Mark Dawson