Caitlin and Oscar each have a dark past and have gone through things that many teens have the luxury of not having to deal with in their young lives. Both struggle to get out from under the memories that threaten to undo them.
Caitlin (Isabella ford) urges Oscar (Conor Leach) to run away with her, he is skeptical at first, but she convinces him. Leach possesses a sweet vulnerability which is endearing, Ford calls the shots as Caitlin, though her need for Oscar verges on desperation. Ford easily transitions from bolshie teen to ethereal queen, struggling to swim to the water’s surface.
Sheehan creates a vivid and authentic world in the lives of these teens, so it comes as no surprise that her writing has already won and been shortlisted for several awards. Director Katie Cawthorne has teased out the complexities of Caitlin and Oscar and their story with great sensitivity and humour, even during the most challenging struggles. An intriguing backdrop, which was predominantly displayed as a simple brick wall, had (courtesy of a black light) a design that enhanced the normally staid set.
What most people don’t see in the aftermath of difficult times is the re-building of life, which takes an incredible strength of character and will. Hell’s Canyon gives us real characters who, though with different individual approaches, both move and inspire.
Hell’s Canyon is on until 11 August, for more information and tickets see: https://old505theatre.com/
Featuring: Isabella Ford and Conor Leach.
Creative/Tech Team: Emily Sheehan (writer), Katie Cawthorne (director), Tyler Ray Hawkins (costume and set design), Kimmo Vennonen (sound design),Martin Kinnane (lighting design) and Laura Barnes (stage manager).
Above image by James John