Straight to the Heart at the Arts Theatre
By American playwright and New York Times editor Ken Jaworowski, Straight to the Heart is a charming and poignant trilogy of short plays in monologue form delivered by three actors.
Directed by Alex Dmitriev, in this simple production the actors carry the show: Alistair Brown, Nadia Shash and Daniel Simpson are accomplished, versatile performers who express well subtle emotion and wit, artfully transitioning from one role to another.
In Pulse a man reveals his sexual orientation to his religious ex-Marine dad who wants grandchildren, with surprising consequences; another regrets advising his son to physically attack his bullies after doing so produces dire consequences; and a woman tries to save a father who feels he is a burden and wants her to let him go so she can be free. One to the Head One to the Heart tells of a parent’s rejection of his disabled daughter, for which he is later deeply ashamed after he realises what a wonderful human being she is. In The Truth Tellers, a man and a woman, two lonely ships in the night, meet and then nearly drift apart because of low self-esteem and insecurity. He is sure she’s not really interested in him, even though she is. And she believes that “every nice guy in the world is either gay, taken or weird” and she hopes he’s weird.
A minimalist piece, the production consists simply of three players and no set. Emulating traditional storytelling, the play might seem colourless at first to our tech-infused minds ever on information overload, but viewers are quickly drawn into the characters’ accounts, which are very absorbing and intriguing. The tales told are human and real, about life situations that affect us all, but that uncover heartfelt truths that would not normally be revealed: The trepidation of coming out to a strict father and then great emotion from an unexpectedly accepting and loving reaction; the deep pain of letting go of a parent; the shame of a man wishing his disabled child would die, but then the triumph of love over ego; the fears single people have while trying to find a mate, and the stupid things they can say and do to compensate.
A sweet, thought-provoking work, in 75 minutes Straight to the Heart entrances and inspires.
Straight to the Heart is at the Arts Theatre from 10th until 28th October 2016, for further information or to book visit here.