Updated: Saturday, 16th December 2017 @ 8:17am

Review: Things I Know To Be True @ The Lowry, Salford

Review: Things I Know To Be True @ The Lowry, Salford

| By Alice Richardson

The stage is enormous – a cavernous, deep black space pinpricked by LED lights suspended from the ceiling at The Lowry in Salford.

The simple backdrop is deliberately non-distracting as the contents of Things I Know To Be True is all consuming.

As lead actor John McArdle (who plays Bob Price) told me in an interview last week, this play really is 'a raw look at a family.'

Set in Australia, but acted out in distinctly northern accents, the issues facing Bob and Fran Price and their four grown up children strike so many chords, and indeed nerves, throughout.

As six adults battle with expectations of their own and those imposed upon them, we see the petty arguments across the dinner table, the deeper confessions of daughter to mother and of wife to husband.

CONFLICT: The production shines a light on family strife

All the while some serious, current issues are tackled with humour and realism.

On the opening night, the audience is full of GCSE students and their teachers, classloads of them in fact.

Luckily, the performers do the story justice and it quickly becomes clear that this piece is definitely worthy of its place as a curriculum staple.

The actions and reactions that spark between the family members are executed with brilliant precision both verbally and physically throughout and the text and motion work together seamlessly.

As well, Geordie Brookman and Scott Graham – the co-directors behind this showing –certainly make a formidable collaboration.

CONSUMING: The story quickly caputures the audience

Graham's choreography leaves nothing to be desired, creating genuinely poignant moments of family intimacy, support and love

Meanwhile, Brookman's textual handling produces raw emotion in what is a triumph of direction and acting.

Things I Know To Be True really is a work of art.

It is funny, beautiful, gut-wrenching and heart-breaking all at once.

As McArdle so rightly said: “It is a beauty and a pain.” He’s not wrong.

*Things I Know To Be True is showing at The Lowry, Salford until Saturday, October 7. You can buy tickets HERE.