While I didn't stand at the end of Open Eye Theatre's Drained (I was incredibly close), it left me a spent force of emotion. My fellow blogger and companion of the week The Real Chrisparkle, witnessed my tears, and I was actually perhaps as emotional as I have ever been at the end of any theatre show.
It's a powerful trio of characters, and Drained doesn't rush to let you in on the story that is going to develop. An ingenious scene structure takes us through the period of a year (simply created with changing posters), all in the same bar, from the wake, through Christmas, Valentine's Day, Easter etc, until we end up a year later, broken and devastated by what has played out through the scenes.
The second, and even more devastating story though, it that of Laura. Quietly observing how her brothers are being ripped apart, and herself being desperate for a relationship, and being so alone, the seeds of development of her mental breakdown are sown. As Laura, Ditchburn gives one of the very best performances at Flash that I have seen (and at the point, I saw Drained, it was my 63rd show). The scene where she desperately tries to get an answer on the telephone is just so incredibly well played. The proximity, the closeness of the performance truly helping as well. A privilege to witness a performance so good, so close and this was pretty much I think the point when my own strength failed and the emotion began to flow.
As already mentioned, this was my 63rd Flash when I watched, it was an emotional rollercoaster, and I have no hesitation in putting it in the top three of the shows I have seen in my five years. Just staggeringly brilliant in every way.
Performance viewed: Wednesday 25th April 2018
Photos: Looking Glass Theatre