The Ones That Flutter by Sylvia Reed
The fluttering ones being birds shot on a hunt who cling to their lease on life nevertheless … This intriguing yet ultimately frustrating play seems to defy its tag as a death row drama with its centre shifting from scene to scene. This could be one of its raisons d’etre, although TLT found as one scene followed another, moments of conflict felt a little schematic and forced. The play touches on big issues: death row, the svelte representative of a property developer wielding – presumably - pre-credit crunch cash, the relationship between taciturn white warder and his Texan jail tenant, a poetic black prisoner, a claustrophobic and violent childhood, a lost sibling. At the same time, having only hints of emotional connections and threat rather than making us feel them underpowers this one-act play. Yet, alongside atmospheric set design and sound, this drama's pace holds the audience, while there’s enough in the writing and acting to whet the appetite and catch fluttering glimpses of something more substantial. An amber light for a thought-provoking evening.