Family Values

Family Values by Michael Dalberg is pure theatre with a good splash of violence. Expertly directed by David Gasperetti, Ghost Light theatre tell the story of two brothers, Liam and Trent, caught in a spiral of Mafia family lies and destruction.

An original and interesting piece which I would recommend seeing.

From the outset, a large amount of stage combat is employed to great effect and in the most skilled manner I have personally seen on the fringe. Its use acts to quicken the pace of the story and add a constant element of threat which might otherwise be lacking. The only downfall to this is it might be a bit too casually applied on occasion which then somewhat detracts from the threat level.

Ivan Comisso as the protagonist, Liam, consistently gives us engaged, truthful acting whilst deftly dropping the occasional witty line in with ease. He holds the central story with strength and compassion and is a delight to watch, giving this violent tale a human face.

Federico Moro as the violence-prone Trent, brother to Liam, gives a strong performance. Occasionally he dips out of his usual good quality of acting but also on occasion we see a glimmer of some truly beautiful moments in his delivery. If these stunning moments could be kept and the occasional glitches erased, this would be a knock-out performance from this physically blessed and handsome actor.

Virginia Byron plays the initially stereotypical quick-witted American wife with natural ease and is a pleasure to watch, supporting the ongoing action with style.

Tino Orsini is a hidden treasure in the cast. The quality of work from this performer is of such consistently high quality that it’s actually hard to notice. He is so naturalistic and yet delivers his comedic lines with such grace and easy humour that he is simply a joy to have on stage.

The story is an interesting one which pulls us in using the skilled cast to tell this tale of half-truths and deception. It’s an original and interesting piece which I would recommend seeing.

Reviews by Dixon Baskerville

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The Blurb

Trent and Liam have completed one last job which hopefully has freed them from their mafia ties. Set in the Florida Everglades, these two brothers must learn how to become a real family. Just as their bond seems to strengthen, two strangers arrive at their hard-to-find home. Are these people here by accident, or have they been sent by other members of the family? Or worse: are these people closer to Trent and Liam than they realize? A dark, gritty, physical new drama that explores how perilous escaping the past can be.

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