reView: Lungs is “clever, excellent, and powerful”

The pop-up Roundabout Theatre, located next to the University Library, held its opening show last night: Lungs by Duncan McMillan. Heather Lowery gives us her take on the production and the concept of pop-up theatre.

When I went to see Lungs, I had no idea what to expect. The ideas that came to mind when I was told it was a pop-up theatre were negative, amateur and awkward. However, when the two actors took the stage, all preconceptions fell away and I was left speechless.

Comical, heart breaking and very realistic, the production captured two people’s emotional journey into parenthood. Abdul Salis and Sian Reese-Williams portrayed a very believable couple, with natural chemistry, creating an intimate atmosphere.

The theatre itself was small and circular, meaning we could see the actors from all angles whilst keeping us close to them, adding to the feeling that we were listening in to their most private conversations as a couple. Their facial reactions are visible to the audience, adding to the presentation of the characters.

Raw, honest and stripped down, the simple production allows us to see who these characters really are and how they react to certain situations, making us hate them in that moment but also making us completely understand why they reacted in such a way.

Through clever writing, excellent direction and powerful acting, these two characters can hold the audience’s attention for the full eighty minutes, raising controversial questions, such as are there some people that shouldn’t have children? What makes us good people? Is there a limit to how much a couple can take?

From my experience in seeing Lungs, I would thoroughly recommend it to anyone. With tickets at just £5.00 for students, it is an opportunity that should be taken.

This is a production that left me thinking about it for hours after, definitely making an impression on my way of thinking. That is the sign of a good production.