Dissociation, the latest play from writer/director Luke Bailey, debuts in the Lowry Studio. Set in a time of rising tension, it explores the life of aspiring musician, Talloach, and his attempts to rebuild his life after his release from a young offenders institution where he was sentenced after taking the heat for the rest of his crew.
Powerfully written and performed from the outset, Dissociation is the sort of play that not only hits the audience straight between the eyes but knocks them out and completely pulls them into the action. Talloach is vividly brought to life by an amazing actor in Tachia Newall. His character is a complex mix of contradictions. On the surface, he’s the guy who just wants to make music, whilst putting up the tough man facade to protect himself from his own personal past. Bailey’s deft writing combined with Newall’s vivid performance turn Talloach into much more than this mere stereotype. The quieter scenes with his counsellor totally draw the audience’s attention and leave everybody longing for him to achieve all his dreams.
While Talloach is the focus of the play, his foils need to be equally as effective to make the piece really come together and here indeed they do. Venice (Errol Smith), the self appointed leader of the pack is a toothpick chewing ball of volatile menace while Yussuf M’rabty and Steven Hamill provide decent back up in the South Manchester Guerrillas. Holliday Grainger produces an emotional performance as Talloach’s housemate, veering from innocent bravado to terrified victim in the blink of an eye and is yet another on stage presence who manages to grab the audience in her quieter and more understated moments.
The major question the play asks is how much social mobility is available to those of ambition from less privileged backgrounds, or rather how much is allowed from those above. A character has to pull out of college after funding is cut and Talloach, himself has to face some tough decisions to break free of his own background. It’s credit to Bailey’s writing and the performers that this play never feels like a political statement but more a personal journey of hope that leaves you rooting for the characters.
The final few scenes however, which arrive at breakneck speed against a background of violence and strobe lighting, maybe didn’t feel as effective as they could have. There just seemed something a little rough around the edges of the direction, compared to the rest of the play but, if tightened up, this play with its strong cast and great writing is a powerful, thought provoking piece of theatre.
Hollywood actress Holliday Grainger makes northern stage debut at The Lowry’s premiere of Dissociation.
Hollywood starlet Holliday Grainger may be known for her roles in big budget period dramas like Great Expectations and The Borgias, but she admits she couldn’t wait to get back to Manchester for a gritty new theatre premiere.
She stars alongside Waterloo Road star Tachia Newall in the hard-hitting thriller Dissociation penned by actor-turned-writer Luke Bailey which debuts at The Lowry Studio on January 28.
Holliday, who has just finished filming as 16th century aristocrat Lucrezia Borgia in the third series of blockbuster US drama The Borgias, says its good to be back on home turf.
She said: “It’s a great play and it’s the kind of issues and character I haven’t really done in a while.
“It’s great to take my corset off and come back to Manchester!”
Didsbury-raised Holliday, 24, still counts Manchester as home, but her role in the big screen adaptation of Great Expectations last year and in The Borgias has made her one of the film world’s hottest properties.
It makes it something of a coup for Luke, and for the Lowry Young Actors Company whose young students will get to start alongside established stars Holliday and Tachia in the production.
Luke smiles: “I know Holliday has turned down a few other jobs to do it and it’s great to have Tachia on board too, they’re both incredible actors.
“It’s an opportunity for young people to work on a professional production with some great talent.”
Holliday adds: “It’s a great script and I’d always do anything to support Luke.”
Luke, known for high profile TV roles in Casualty and Waterloo Road, is putting acting on the backburner while he pursues his passion for writing.
Dissociation is his first work, and is set against the backdrop of the 2011 riots, seen through the tragic tale of aspiring musician Tal, played by Tachia, as he attempts to reform his life following a sentence in a young offender’s institution.
Luke says: “I think there’s a lack of strong writing for young people, for people aged 18-25 there’s nothing much on TV or theatres that is ‘for them’. I hope that this production will bring a whole new audience to the theatre.”
Dissociation plays at The Lowry Studio on January 28, 29, 30, for tickets see lowry.com.
source: Manchester Evening News
Holly is featured on a new theatre play on The Lowry Art & Entertainment Theatre from 28 January to 30 January called Dissociation with director Luke Bailey and played alongside Tachia Newell.
This is the latest play, from writer/director Luke Bailey – a hard hitting theatrical thriller that pulls no punches in its tense exploration of trust and ambition.
Aspiring musician, Rhienen, is trying to piece his life together following a sentence in a young offenders institute. As tension boils amidst the ever expanding underclass, Dissociation takes a simmering glance at the reality of ‘Social Mobility’ in a fictionalised ignition of the 2011 riots. It’s a macabre celebration of urban culture that takes the audience on a heartbreaking journey that will leave you questioning the true meaning of society.
Holliday Grainger (Neil Jordan’s The Borgia’s and Mike Newell’s Great Expectations) and Tachia Newell (Waterloo Road, Some Like it Hip Hop) to perform alongside promising members of The Lowry Young Actors Company as well as some of Moss Side’s most intriguing urban music artists.
The Coop is a ‘Not For Profit’ production initiative, a company of passionate artists of every description, who aim to deliver challenging work for the wider community.