Review: Chronolust, Act One, YMCA Theatre

Review by Molly Wyatt

Chronolust is ChronoMUST!

Last spring at Act One’s ‘Staging a Coup’ I was lucky enough to watch a fifteen minute play called ‘Chronolust.’ Amazed by the compact production, and mesmerised by the concept, we all left wanting more – and last night I was fortunate enough to have that fulfilled.

Both written and directed by Sam Walker himself, ‘Chronolust’ is a play in which explores the dangers and dilemmas that encompass opting to see snapshots that define one’s life – whether it be from their past or future. Functioning as a ‘public service,’ the characters, who have willingly decided to come to ‘Chronolust’, are essentially put under sedation to have the pinpoint moments of the life fed back to them. Once awake, they are unable to change their fixed future but instead, left to respond to it as they so desire.

Dr Lynch, played by Lucy Howlett, led the audience through the play as we see her in her profession, guiding ‘patients’ through their chronolust experience. But what adds the rich depth to this play is the developing moral battle that as she has to witness these people find out possibly life-crushing forthcomings. Howlett’s performance was remarkably truthful and by embodying such realism to her character, the audience were enraptured into this phenomena.

The play, despite having this dystopian-like, dark quality to it, did not disappoint on the humour side. Whether it be Tom Mclean’s manner-lacking character scoffing his face with crisps, or Jessica Sharpe, played by Liz Clements, having the audience cackle at her hilariously cringe worthy phrases. What made this show special was the individual moments each character bought to the play; James Cole-Ezen and Emma Lewis did not fail to touch the audience with their vulnerability and Sarah Bulmer… Well Sarah Bulmer’s character Selina certainly supplied the ‘lust’ to Chronolust; she must also be applauded her for the raunchy dance that she so confidently executed.

I am baffled at how a second year student has managed to write such a cleverly constructed, thought provoking play and direct it himself. I had high expectations from seeing an extract last year, but last night’s performance exceeded that. I do hope this isn’t the last we see of Chronolust as this plays’ crisscrossing narrative, twisted yet witty theme, and authentic characters was a triumph.