Tickets and more information: https://www.atgtickets.com/shows/dark-sublime/trafalgar-studios/
Booking until: 3rd August
Production Photos by: Simon Thorp/Scott Rylander.
Run time: 2hrs 40mins.
Dark Sublime is Michael Dennis’ debut comedy that one can only describe as a love letter to old school prime time sci-fi television. In Dark Sublime, we follow Marianne, a fading jobbing actress who befriends a fan of the show, Oli. Together they find that they have much more in common with each other than they initially think. Michael Dennis’ play is warm and funny but isn’t afraid to highlight the baggage that comes with befriending fans.
Playing Marianne is Marina Sirtis, famous for her role in Star Trek: The Next Generation among a variety of roles in her illustrious career, so it seems like a no-brainer to cast her in this due to her history with the sci-fi world. Here she delivers an engaging and entertaining performance. But for me, her performance really comes alive in the scenes with Marianne’s fan Oli, played by Kwaku Mills in a fantastic West End debut. The two compliment each other well and the warmest moments in the show happen between them.
The only real issue I had with the play is that, it is on the long side. Don’t get me wrong, Michael Dennis’ play is entertaining enough that you’re not reaching for your watch every couple of minutes. But there’s a whole sub storyline with Marianne and the relationship she has with her best friend. Because her best friend is an out lesbian, it’s very, very subtly implied that maybe Marianne has a -perhaps always had a – thing for her. I do wish this was a bit more explored but I couldn’t help but feel this was just filler. One scene that sticks out is Oli telling Marianne about this boy he fancies, which would have more of a deeper meaning, if it was more explicit about Marianne being a gay woman.
Other than that, Dark Sublime is a very entertaining and engaging play that I think has come around in perfect timing. What with actors/musicians/people with fans being so accessible nowadays, it’s nice to see a play that not only celebrates that but doesn’t portray the fan/artist relationship as a picture perfect, happily ever after story.
Until next time,