photo: Anna Turzynski
Open Theatre’s production of ‘The Aleph’ stages a strange tale of mystery and espionage whilst exploring the morality of a group of people as their situation becomes more desperate. It is both well put together and interesting to watch.
The story of the play follows a team of experts, led by Captain Evans, who have been given the mission of retrieving a mysterious object known as ‘the Aleph’ from their enemy. A thief by the name of Junks joins the team as a recruited outsider. His arrogance and lack of professionalism as he is first introduced is excruciatingly frustrating to watch, and we can sympathise with Captain Evans as he gives him a run-down of what’s what. I had the urge to walk up to the stage and slap him; a testament, therefore, to Marcus Marsh’s acting ability. He later becomes the most loyal member of the team, and this brilliant switch in character is one the most engaging aspects of the production.
The staging is simple but effective, displaying the small and empty space that the team take shelter in, and lighting and sound is used to good effect. The story itself, however, seems to be lacking something. There are moments that drag along and bring down the tension within the play. This is by no means the fault of the cast, who all give strong performances, but that of the script-writer. The abrupt ending leaves no closure for the audience and the drama of the situation is not heightened enough. However, this was an interesting production which was well created and delivered. Every aspect was well planned and executed, much like the mission of the play.