Wonderful Whistle Stop

Jaques De Silva & Ameera Patel in Whistle Stop. Photo CuePix/Megan Moore

Ahhh… love.

It nourishes us. It destroys us. It gives us insight. It makes us stupid.

Whistle Stop, directed by Frances Slabolepszy, take us on a rollercoaster ride through the gut-wrenching twists and turns, hair-raising ups and downs that love never fails to be…

The performance energy between Jaques De Silva and Ameera Patel is exceptional. Their flawless rhythm is enthralling, heightened by the physicalised subtext which allows them to express what they can’t manage to say.

Words fail the strangers who meet on a public bench. They talk about washing lines when what they desire most is to get involved in each other’s lives, permanently. The audience laughed along, recognising the embarrassing things we say instead of our true feelings… out of fear of rejection, and sometimes fear of acceptance, of future possibilities…

Patel’s script is skilfully crafted. The character’s share their thoughts, their true feelings, in between their painfully awkward dialogue, with hugely humorous effect. But it’s not all fun and games. As with love.

Evocative avian imagery is woven throughout. The man looks like a chicken who pecks through to the woman’s core. Her hair is a nest for him to make a home. They spot a bird and disagree over its appearance of health: she says it’s sick and will die; he believes there’s nothing wrong and it will fly to wherever it wishes. The bird is fragile and free; so too, love makes us fragile yet gives us freedom.

Whistle Stop is an excellent piece of theatre: beautifully polished and spellbinding, and performed by two highly skilled performers who captivate from start to finish. And the title is cleverly sweet, you’ll see at the end…

Sarah Roberson

Dark Laugh Theatre Company presents Whistle Stop.

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