Review: Blackbird

Citizens Theatre, Glasgow
25th February – 5th March 2016
5 Stars (5 / 5)

Nothing is black and white, just many shades of grey is what David Harrower’s play suggests. Blackbird

Stepping away from the clichéd temptation to depict Ray as a simple monster and Una as a helpless victim; Blackbird takes the opportunity to explore the nature of the emotional fallout that their illicit relationship wrought on their lives. Blackbird is a play flowing with ambiguities and refuses to take sides. Ray is not a beast that karma has paid back and Una has neither been destroyed nor canonized for her suffering belying the commonly held myth we tell ourselves that “It get’s better.” It usually does not.

Both Paul Higgins and Camrie Palmer excel in the roles of Ray and Una making us, the audience, feel an empathy with characters whose natures we may feel were unlike our own in any way. Paul Higgins succeeds in depicting a man with an abhorrent desire, not a monster. Camrie Palmer is wonderful as Una, showing the shifting power dynamics and affections between her and Ray.

Is BlackBird a fun night out for the whole family? No.
Is Blackbird an excellent and thought provoking play? Yes. Unambiguously yes.