With its genre-bending mixture of dystopian student life and social commentary, Escape the Scaffold is another psychological thriller from up and coming writer, Titas Halder. The play is set in an unknown time, focusing on a love triangle between three young adults. The student activist Aaron (Trieve Blackwood-Cambridge) constantly argues with the conservative “mate” Marcus(Charles Reston), while Grace(Rosie Sheehy) never reveals her true intentions. The three go through different stages in their relationship, as the play’s abstract timeline progresses.
Theater503 offers a small dimly lit stage for the audience to take in this paranoia inducing production. Director Hannah Price has taken Titas Halder’s strange piece of writing and placed it in reality; the haunting buzz of helicopters or the flashing moments of horror placed at just the right time. Actors move with intense physicality around each other going from witty “banter” to the grim horrors that await them. With the amazing use of light and sound, audiences are left wondering about the strange authoritarian police state that the characters are so afraid of.
The acting, sound, and lighting might create a dark visual world, but the story doesn’t seem to be as airtight as Halder would like to think. However, Escape the Scaffold is certainly another great piece of theater coming from the off West End theater scene. If spending time in a dystopian world is your idea of a good time, this production will certainly take you there.