STAGE REVIEW: The Invisible Man @ Northern Stage, Newcastle (03.02.22) | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Image: The cast of The Invisible Man at Northern Stage, image by Wasi Daniju

In a world exploring invisibility, sound is everything. And that’s where this show starts – with two characters on stage building up the opening soundscape with everyday objects and a loop pedal. The pair take up this role at intervals throughout the play, providing a welcome relief from the intense dialogue between therapist and client.

The complex set that comprises therapist’s office and pub scene plays an active role as The Invisible Man unfolds, transforming into a street scene, witness dock and vicar’s living room, then coming alive with writing on the walls, shelves falling and objects moving at will. The space is small, especially during the physical choreographed scenes, but has been thoughtfully designed to great effect.

Phil Correia’s script for The Invisible Man is dense, particularly in the multi-layered, evolving conversation between Griffin, the damaged young man who believes in the power of invisibility and therapist Sara Kemp, who yearns to believe – if she can see with her own eyes. Their interactions are fast-paced, loud and intense, creating a constant level of tension, and a wider range of dynamics, pauses, tone of voice – simply relaxing into the developing relationship a little more – could potentially be utilised to keep the audience on the edge of their seats. Local emerging actors Daniel Watson and Kate Louise Okello inhabit their roles convincingly throughout the performance, whereas Jack Fairley and Izzy Ions rise impressively to a different challenge of taking responsibility for the on-stage sound production and switching between diverse characters.

Three compelling narratives are interwoven throughout the play to create a rich tapestry of differing perspectives on invisibility – how it feels to be invisible in society vs the power of invisibility itself. The message is clear, maybe too spelt out at times. Nothing is left unsaid. However, The Invisible Man is a highly entertaining watch with plenty to think about on the way home.

The Invisible Man is at Northern Stage, Newcastle until Saturday 19th February, when it tours venues across the North East.

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