Youth Board Review: Park Bench
by Max Millan
I had the privilege of watching Park Bench during press night and wow! What an experience. This was a particularly special performance because it was the first show to reopen the theatre post lockdown, and it did not disappoint. Before you even enter the building, your journey into the story of Liv and Theo had already begun with the immersive 15min Act 1 on YouTube.
Within Act 1 alone, you were able to really perceive and feel the love Liv and Theo had for each other, and that the time they spent away from one another during lockdown was difficult. As an audience member I was able to get the indication that they had an intimate past relationship that evolved into a loving friendship, which could once more rekindle into something more. Act 1 ended beautifully with us being left in the same shoes as Theo, wanting to know more; it honestly made doing anything else in my day a challenge as all I could ponder was what it was Liv needed to tell Theo.
I won't get into too much detail with the main story as I don't want to ruin the thrill of it all for others, but essentially, we get to see a really raw conversation between two best friends, and when I say raw, I mean it. The play really highlighted the importance of checking in on how your friends are on all levels, and not simply surface, but truly how they are feeling. We've all been through a year-long struggle together, the likes of which none of us would've ever imagined, so it's even more important now that we watch over our friends.
Tori Allen-Martin and Tim Bowie brought such elegance and respect to these characters: tears, smiles and laughs were shared in their brilliant performances. Furthermore, Tori Allen-Martin did not hold back with the raw authenticity of the writing, it was second to none. I'm sure I speak for many when I say we look forward to all her future work.
Review by Max, Park Theatre's Youth Board
Interested in joining Park Theatre's youth board? Then drop [email protected] a line. You'll have a chance to meet regularly and influence what goes on at Park Theatre, come up with new ideas to engage audiences and review productions. Open to all! No experience necessary.