Arts and Culture

Review: Extinguished Things

Posted on: Sat 23 Feb 2019

By Lisa Harper Campbell

Written and performed by Molly Taylor, Extinguished Things, is a one-woman show in which Molly, a young woman lacking direction, ventures into the home of her recently deceased neighbours.

This odd premise takes us into the empty living room of Alton and Evie who had been neighbours of Molly’s family in Liverpool her whole life.

Fond but polite memories are recalled of their limited interactions but the meat of Extinguished Things resides in Molly’s recounting of Alton and Evie’s relationship of which she somehow has an intimate knowledge.

Significant structural issues, messy transitions between sections of Evie and Alton’s history and the script’s abundance of adjectives and hyperbolic language alienated me from the story being told on stage.  The connection between Taylor’s character and this recently deceased couple was never really made clear and certainly did not justify the level of investment in what she describes as their lives as ‘ordinary people’.

As the main character remained a mystery, this production left me asking, why does she care? And more worryingly, why should I care? Questions you don’t want audience members contemplating as they leave the theatre.

There were flashes of engaging vulnerability but Taylor’s performance overall was intensely earnest and her monotonous, over-pronounced rhythm and diction left this reviewer counting down the minutes until the final blackout.

Lacking in nuance, depth and ultimately interest, Extinguished Things, with the many awards it has won, was a disappointment.

Extinguished Things continues its season until March 3 at Holden Street Theatres.

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