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Two Cleaners

by on 24 July 2022

Polished Performances

Two Cleaners

by Chiara Arrigoni

Festival of New Theatre, at Questors Studio, Ealing until 23rd July

Review by Heather Moulson

Concluding the innovative Festival of New Theatre at the wonderful Questors, we saw a fitting and strong production.  After an impressive week of plays and workshops, Two Cleaners was an apt climax.  The starkness of the studio in which the barren setting of this two-hander took place was an appropriate one.  The writer Chiara Arrigoni was said to be inspired by Pinter’s The Dumb Waiter, and had paid a justifiable homage to that iconic play.  The layers were stripped away at a slick pace. 

Within the darkness of the piece, the dialogue and convincing and performances were strong enough to carry us for the forty-five minute duration.  Cleaner One, played by Lucy Aley-Parker, was earthy, cynical and world weary.  An impressive performance, matched by Anne Marie Ryan, as Cleaner Two, the younger and more challenging woman.  Ryan had the right amount of energy, played nicely against the reticence of her resigned colleague.  The American accents were also of a high standard. 

As the text descended into a deeper darkness, and the sinister unravelling of their employer, the tension built up and we felt the claustrophobia of their grim situation.  The ending on a high note, though, could have only gone one way.

Sharply directed by David Hovatter, the intelligent writing was brought to life.  Against the atmospheric lighting by Andrew Whadcoat, the simplicity of the setting really worked.  Emerson Bramwell’s sound design was effective whist being non-intrusive.

Chiara Arrigoni is a writer to look out for and a worthy contributor to the Festival of New Theatre. We hope to see Two Cleaners staged again elsewhere in the near future.    

Heather Moulson, July 2022

Photography by Evelina Plonyte

One Comment
  1. celiabard permalink

    An insightful review emphasising both writing, acting and production.

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