Weds 15th June 2011
(Review from Guide2 Bath)

On Wednesday 15 June I visited Bath’s delightful Rondo Theatre for the first time to watch the world premiere performance of Water’s Not So Thick, written by Gill Kirk and directed by Alison Farina for Butterfly Psyche Theatre.

“Rupert and Rebecca are trying to get married. The fly in the ointment is his mother. As this dark comedy-drama unfolds, extreme maternal instinct meets the desire to live a normal married life and the results are messy indeed!”

Above is the description of Water’s Not So Thick from the Rondo Theatre’s website; the play is so much more than that description but I am glad I went into the theatre not knowing what was to come and I don’t want to give away any more of the story here.

Gill Kirk’s strong writing and Alison Farina’s excellent casting and direction have produced a piece of theatre that provides moments of laughter, moments of sadness, and the occasional slight gasp of shock as a new twist is revealed.

The actors; Gerard Cooke, Pavel Douglas, Charlotte Ellis and Dee Sadler; work very well together and are totally believable as the characters they portray, so believable that much of the time I forgot that they were actors.

Over the course of an hour and five minutes we watched the drama unfold; time that passed very quickly it must be said. The Rondo is a small theatre and the audience is close to the action, able to see every facial expression and to hear every breath taken. Alison Farina’s direction uses the theatre space well; different parts of the stage being used for different scenes of the play and the cast entering not just from the wings but also at times appearing from behind the audience to arrive on stage.

I discovered that an evening at the Rondo is more than just a visit to the theatre; on arrival, (my companion and I were slightly early), a lady rushed to unlock the door, explaining that “we’re not really open yet, but I can’t leave you stood outside”. The theatre’s bar is situated in the auditorium, with audience members able to take their cups of coffee or bottles of wine to their seats when the show begins. When the show ended the bar re-opened and the director, writer and cast came out to mingle with the audience and chat about the show we’d just seen; this provided a lovely relaxed end to the evening, so much nicer than just rushing off after the final bows have been taken.

Water’s Not So Thick runs at the Rondo Theatre until Saturday 18 June, with performances at 8PM each evening. Tickets are available through the Bath Box Office on 01225 463362 or on the door and cost £10, £8 concessions. I wholeheartedly recommend that you go.

Viv Kennedy