Review: Gin For Breakfast, at Tristan Bates Theatre
Jess Moore’s charming coming-of-age play is a very relevant story of mental health, and how we cope with it
06 October, 2017 — By Elmira Tanatarova
Tristan Beint and Jessica Guise in Gin for Breakfast. PHOTO: TANYA FELDMAN
ENTAILING the lifelong friendship of Jen and Robbie, Jess Moore’s play tackles coming of age after becoming an official adult. Both characters, divergent in the paths they’ve chosen to lead with Jen being a corporate lawyer “sell-out” and Robbie a “struggling musician”, heartbreakingly and intensely describe the ups and downs of trying to make sense of your present and translating it into your future.
Told over a series of birthdays, Gin for Breakfast allows the audience to follow the characters’ development over a series of years and creates time and space that extends past and beyond the 80 minutes’ showtime.
Jessica Guise is charismatic and powerful as Jen, delivering the most difficult, personal, and melancholic monologues with an organic rawness and ease. Tristan Beint is an enigmatic presence on stage, fleshing out the character of Robbie even when saying nothing at all, and the chemistry between the two is genuine and heartfelt.
Even though a lot of the play’s charm and wit comes from Moore’s beautifully written dialogue, the lighting and music’s intimate but dynamic set-up allows the audience to feel immersed across a range of settings. A very relevant story of mental health, how we cope with it, and the inability to ever truly understand someone’s pain.
You will fall in love with Jen’s hope for the “pale blue dot”, as well as Robbie’s despair for the “bits of dust in the wind” that are humans, and laugh as they discuss their arguments for both cases.
Intelligently funny and charmingly wistful, its leaves audiences both laughing and crying.
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