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There are times when theatre resonates with such exactitude that it compels you to look at things about yourself that you might not want to. If you've ever been in relationship, Lands might be a little too close for comfort.

In one corner, Leah is doing a puzzle. Her set up is forensic - bright light, tweezers to handle the pieces, mic and tape recorder to evidence the whole thing. Sophie can't see the puzzle and she doesn't want to. She's mindlessly jumping on a trampoline to the right and cannot get off even if she wanted to.

Lands explores futile attempts to conduct a functioning relationship under these conditions - the undulations of compassion, frustration, earnest attempts at connection and petulant acts of revenge - and how our own habits and behaviours disrupt our ability to be with someone. It's a play about how love falters when we are preoccupied with nurturing our own visions and hurts.

the writing and performances of both actors mean that when these small worlds are disrupted, we take it very seriously.

It's the triviality of the two activities that allows us to become invested. Hearing Sophie say she can't get off the trampoline is at first very funny and Leah's mad-cap puzzling set up is equally absurd and initially baffling. But the writing and performances of both actors mean that when these small worlds are disrupted, we take it very seriously. When Leah pulls the trampoline away from under Sophie's feet, we are frightened and relieved. When Sophie throws Leah's near-complete puzzle on the floor, the transgression reverberates.

We sympathise with Leah, because she is being neglected by Sophie, and we sympathise with Sophie, because she can't help herself. What hurts is the generous but futile attempts of both parties to overcome their incompatibility.

Lands is a funny, tender and heart-wrenching play. The performances and writing are brilliant and it also includes a great dance routine. Go and see it if you can.

Next article in issue 129

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