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Review of Flash Festival: One 'N' Half - Snuff Me at the Looking Glass Theatre

One hundred and twenty eight hours after I sat down to watch the first Flash Festival 2015 performance, I was seated at the Looking Glass Theatre to watch the sixteenth and final one.

Snuff Me from One 'N' Half was extremely anticipated for a number of reasons. including tremendous word of mouth from those that had seen it and from my own opinion that it featured Sam Billy Behan, who had been remarkable in previous appearances in Macbeth and A Clockwork Orange. His performance partner was the equally impressive Ben Stacey, who as Dim in Clockwork was quite brilliant. This play could not fail, indeed I would not allow it!

Of course it didn't. It was a tour de force in the complete sense with scenes of raw emotion, physically stunning moments, truly earthy language and a puppet show. I did absolutely not see that one coming. Those puppets had a vulgar turn of language, but the material they had was tough and emotional stuff.

Snuff Me explores the trauma that members of the military suffer in their attempts to return to civilian life, including coping with trauma and loses to their bodies and senses. One of the best scenes comes from Ben in his speech about loss of hearing. For most of this wonderful scene we are laughing with him as he goes through the loss of hearing impact on his life in a comic way. Then just like that we have a BAM! moment and all humour is pulled from the scene and the true impact of this becomes clear. Hearing is for him a disregarded thing, until it is gone from his life and this scene portrays that moment like little other seen before.

Another remarkable scene is when Sam motions are controlled by giants rods held by Ben. A superbly realised scene relying totally on the trust between both performers. This scene follows an equally tough scene in which Sam's character attempts to get through the effects of the loss of a leg and his getting to grips with his prosthetic. Two raw and perfectly played scenes.

I think there was little chance that Stuff Me was going to be a let down and it was a totally an apt way to conclude a quite amazing week of dramas from some superb talent. I am glad that this year I was able to see the whole event and I am truly looking forward to next year already.



The Flash Festival 2015 is all over! It ran between 18th-23rd May, 2015 at four venues across the town. Details can be found at http://ftfevents.wix.com/flashtheatre2015, while tickets cannot now be booked via the Royal & Derngate. Details at: http://www.royalandderngate.co.uk/whatson/2015-2016/Other/FlashFestival15

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