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Terminus at the Young Vic

Alice Dickerson

'Terminus'; end of the road. And this is where all three of the characters of Terminus find themselves, staring into oblivion and deciding to leap, with nothing to lose.

The back stories of these characters are revealed slowly, through the course of one hellish (quite literally) evening.

However, at no time is there any interaction between the three hence names are irrelevant and they are simply labelled A, B and C. 'A' starts a Samaritan volunteer, troubled by her past, and seeking redemption through her present. 'B' a lonely young female, who is betrayed by those she felt close to. 'C' who uses extreme violence as a coping mechanism for his crippling social ineptitude.

The link between the characters does not become apparent until late in the play, but the audience cannot but be aware that events are spiralling out of control and can only result in a head-on collision.

A, B and C take it in turns to deliver a series of rhyming, poetic monologues. Given the lack of physical movement and the minimal staging, the success of the play inevitably hangs in the delivery of these monologues. Olwen Fouere, as A, is particularly convincing in her role as the determined avenger, and Declan Conlon, C, uses humour effectively to lighten what is otherwise a repulsive role.

Mark O'Rowe is a playwright known for his bleak and violent productions. The use of dark, at times grotesque, language in Terminus may not be to everyone's taste, but it is certainly vivid and unflinchingly exposes the dark underbelly of urban life. The combination of fantasy and realism works, and creates a highly original production which is hard to forget.

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