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Bound at Southwark Playhouse

Bound is a voyage into the heart of a dying industry, told through the souls of proud men.

This piece of engaging theatre, Jesse Briton's writing and directorial debut, follows the fortunes of six trawlermen as they make one last voyage to try to save their boat and livelihood.

We are first introduced to Thomas Bennett's Kerdzic, a naive Polish agency worker with faulting English and a seemingly endless range of bemused facial expressions, which feature throughout the play.

His arrival causes some consternation amongst the crew, upset at being undercut by migrant workers, and later, with skipper Woods (John McKeever), who suspects foul play when he discovers that Kerdzic's brother is on a rival trawler.

As the trawler ventures with still empty nets into ever-worsening weather, tensions build between the crew members, whose backgrounds, all of which are shaped or scarred by their dangerous and anti-social occupation, are gradually revealed.

There is plenty of comedy throughout too, and not just from Kerdzic's elastic face! Joe Darke's hung-over Graham, the youngest crew member, provides many moments of relief as he sobers during the voyage and provokes more experienced crew-members.

In more than one instance, Briton's writing lets you laugh at the jokes and then swiftly makes you pity their subject, stirring up contrasting feelings and provoking thought from the audience member.

Punctuated by short, traditional songs between moves of the meagrest of sets, Bound's ensemble cast net you from the off, and its authentic dialogue captivates until its dramatic final scenes.

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