Walking into rehearsals for The Get-Out, it’s clear that this play is going somewhere. What’s most striking is that it is a lot more polished than most student plays, despite still being at the rehearsal stage. Director Josie Mitchell and producer Maeve Scullion have managed to find a group of actors with a refreshingly equal level of talent, who work well together and resemble a company.
Written by finalist Mary Flanigan, The Get–Out tells the story of a group of actors in a youth theatre company in Belfast, and the trouble that ensues when they get drunk after a performance. Whilst it is clear that the challenging Northern Irish accent comes more easily to some that it does to others, this does not detract from an otherwise sharp and entertaining play. The Get-Out covers a range of topics from the economy, religious tension in Northern Ireland, and politics, but due to the enthusiasm of the actors, it still manages to be really funny. Even without the props and the glitz and the glamour of the stage, the conviction of each actor made it clear that it will be incredible on opening night.
Sarah (Ella Waldman) and Áine (Mary Flanigan) make a good pair, as the chemistry between the two works well. Flanigan’s depiction of a drunken, airy-fairy and ageing actress still clinging to the past nicely contrasts with Waldman’s character. She is a bossy, conservative and unimpressed stage manager with mainly fiscal, rather than artistic, concerns; the tension between the two is palpable.
However, the talent of those with smaller roles also shines through as Lucy Delaney’s portrayal of a nearly paralytic teenager is so realistic, without being farcical, that it will probably remind you of a horrifically inebriated experience of your own. Furthermore, the comic timing of Luke Rollason, who gives an endearingly hilarious performance as Conor, and Alexander Stutt (George) helps the whole cast to bounce off each other. When Stutt skilfully takes centre stage to tell an entertaining story of the night he lost his virginity, the audience feels a part of the company, as they too squirm at his energetically told anecdote.
Of course, The Get-Out is clearly still a work in progress. The transitions could be smoother, and sometimes the levels of inebriation are not consistent. However, considering that there are still two weeks before opening night, it’s very impressive, and definitely something worth seeing.