‘The Engagement’

The Engagement: Directed by Thomas Everchild ‘Must See Show’ – Fringe Review

In January, Sussex Playwrights hosted a performed reading of a new play by James Alexander Allen, based on a true story by actor Wayne Liversidge.

The reading won some of the best response we’ve ever had for any Sussex Playwrights event.

As a result, James revised the script and engaged Thomas Everchild to direct a production of the play in the March 2018 Hove Grown festival at the Rialto Theatre.

Fringe Review’s response:

The Engagement

‘Must See Show’ – Fringe Review
(Brighton &) Hove Grown 2018

‘Thomas Everchild co-produces and directs a taut, absorbing narrative …

Christina Thom’s EP Trade evokes bar backdrops and haunts lost weekends …

James Alexander Allen whose experience lies in screenwriting, has turned a true story by actor Wayne Liversidge into a haunting three-hander of delirious love turned dipsy nightmare …

It’s also love, pure and complex on both sides …

Avital Alexander and Bleach effortlessly enact realism, tenderness and a terrible recognition what it’s like to be in love and dependant at the same time …

There’s a dogged truth-seeking in John that Bleach plays up against Avital Alexander’s incandescent Gerri, a compellingly believable portrait of a young woman in alcoholic freefall. Bleach matches her in internalised then all-too-projected agonies …

Faith Elizabeth does sterling work as sensible sister Luanne earlier but here in the last third she explodes at a higher pitch with anxiety, despair and grief …

The mutual flame of partners Bleach and Avital Alexander burn everything else away and the final trio’s a shock no-one expects …

This is a true story, and heart-breaking enough. There’s a gritty cautionary note sounded too, but most of all this is about love against unimaginable odds …

Allen’s new version presented for Hove Grown is a fine script: idiomatic, even swifter, keenly observant in its naturalism. Which makes it all the more shocking …

It proves one of the absolute highlights of 2018’s Hove Grown Play Festival.’

Simon Jenner
Fringe Review
March 28, 2018

Read the full review here: http://fringereview.co.uk/review/hovegrown/2018/the-engagement/


The Company

Script: James Alexander Allen

Story: Wayne Liversidge

Director, sound, lighting and production design: Thomas Everchild

Music: Christina Thom


Gerri: Eden Avital Alexander

John: Owen Bleach

Luanne: Faith Elizabeth


Supported by

Steaming Ltd

Sussex Playwrights

Speaking Well In Public