Review: Originals – Miles (online)

Miles, by Eilidh Nurse, forms part of the Originals Triple Bill which ran last month at Riverside Studios.

The world premiere of this award-winning play reading is directed by Amelia Sears on a full set (designed by Michael Pavelka), as Ed applies for a job at the failing Bobby’s Caravan Park.

The atmosphere feels cheap, squalid, and unflinchingly positive, as holidays often are. A portrait of stags gives a sense of both freedom and the hunted.

As he bonds with co-worker Janie, Ed proves to be an oversharer who seems happy in whatever situation he finds himself in. Janie is more retrospect, officious, businesslike, while their boss Bobby seems to love and hate his park, whether anyone is there or not.

With top production values, Nurse’s play has an underlying simplicity which belies the depth of its plot. The majority of the early scenes are two-handers between Hiftu Quasem (Janie) and Cristian Ortega (Ed).

Hiftu Quasem and Cristian Ortega in Miles

It quickly becomes apparent that our pasts are not as distanced as we think, and that understanding comes with a sense of familiarity between people. Forced bonhomie or politeness can be masking something far deeper.

Dealing with triggering topics (sexual assault and non-consensuality) with some sensitivity, Miles feels fluid in its script and has a strong sense of chemistry between its main protagonists.

I appreciated a couple of nice touches of everyday life: the metal basket holding a portion of chips; the “cag in a bag”. It makes the conflict when a face from the past (Lewis McKinnon) comes to pitch up a tent in the holiday park all the more chilling.

Then there’s Bobby (Gary Lewis), who feels like a force for pateralistix good in Janie’s life, but inadvertently encourages the worst in others.

Miles can be rented for viewing as part of the Originals Online triple bill – purchase tickets here.

Image credit: Tom Grace