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Someone of Significance

by on 5 March 2023

Financial Affairs

Someone of Significance

by Amalia Kontesi

Network Theatre Company at Network Theatre, Waterloo until 5th March

Review by Denis Valentine

Someone of Significance is based around two characters Rosie (Funlola Olufunwa) and Brad (Simon Bass), investment bankers who tread and cross the line between work colleagues and illicit lovers.  The play looks to cover much more than just an affair between two people as their dynamic ideas on class, gender and how a person’s life, career and identity can be guided by outside elements and responsibilities is explored.

From the first scene the play attempts to show concepts on relationships, both in the personal and occupational spheres, plus surrounding issues such as class and gender, all intersperse into the proceedings.  The play is written in a way that explores these aspects in each and every scene with varying degrees of success. 

The acting is unfortunately, uneven in parts.  There are good flashes in moments from both but overall, the chemistry between Bass and Olufunwa is more often told rather than fully realised.  There is potential for some very good set piece scenes, a hotel chess game which mimics the characters, and their dynamic is interesting, and Rosie walking in as her stature and career grows whereas Brad is at a point of looking for cathartic renewal did draw genuine laughs and more intrigue from the audience. 

Each scene is concluded by an onstage costume change and real recordings from news and political moments in the US over the time period, are played during the black outs.  The costume changes especially for Rosie work well, as the way she dresses really helps to highlight her progression as a character and her career goals.  The radio recordings to an extent are fine, but are also reliant on audience members being able to know and recall US political moments to really get the gist of what era the show is now moving into. 

There are nice ideas in the play and issues are touched on such as class guilt (Olufunwa has a good moment on reflecting about being able buy a home within a year, for which her older generations were working their entire lives to afford) but none are fully defined enough to make the play feel anything but slightly underwritten. 

Someone of Significance has potential but needs a bit more time and craft both on the writing and performance sides.

Denis Valentine, March 2023

Photography courtesy of NTC

Rating: 1.5 out of 5.
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