The Long Road tells the story of a family torn apart by their son/brother stabbed to death outside a shop. In order to get closure and answers meeting his killer appears to be the only way forward! But at what emotional cost can the family agree on this!
The themes covered are extremely heartfelt and emotionally provoking. Watching his brother stabbed leaves a lasting memory for Joe his older brother. While trying to make sense of why it happened he has the added disadvantage of trying to understand his parents form of coping as well as they argue and become emotionally worlds apart.
Fleur de Henrie Pearce performance as Emma (murderer) is spellbinding and outstanding. Her portrayal of a young girl high on anxiety and anything else she can find to take or drink completely owns the stage during each of her scenes. Shaking, nervous laughter and angry outbursts. I was entranced by her character all the way through.
All the action during the production takes place around a white table and three chairs. Befitting of the family drama for the ‘normal’ daily family place for meals. I like the use of white as it keeps it clean and calming from all the chaos and trauma spilling out over the rest of the stage.
There is a danger of performing a play written fifteen years ago though. laws change along with the free use of sharing of information. During the play, Elizabeth (prison worker) discloses private conversations held with Emma in prison and it hasn’t sat comfortably with me as the laws in place now have changed. I felt an announcement should be made at the beginning of the performance acknowledging events were correct at the time the play was written.
It is rather a lengthy play for a Fringe production at 80 minutes long. The recommended length of 60 minutes for a play would have made the plot tighter and raised tension higher by not drawing things out quite as long. Overall a very good play and worth taking the time to see.