Peter Gill, playwright and theatre director
Kick for Touch
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Kick for Touch

by Peter Gill


Review by John Highfield, The Stage, 13 June 2002

The Peter Gill festival at the Crucible gives us the chance to see a selection of writings — five in all, including a world premiere — from the man once described as one of the best-kept secrets of British theatre.

Quite whether South Yorkshire audiences will warm to such intense angst and soul-searching remains to be seen, though the working-class setting of this 50-minute drama could be as easily set in Sheffield as it is in Cardiff.

This is a slight but complex study of family relationships, secrets and lies, very much grounded in the seventies. The era is never specifically stated but is perfectly captured in Jessica Curtis' clinical but adaptable design, stripped down to just stark white walls, a kitchen table and four chairs.

Shifting with ease through time and experience, Gill pieces together a picture of sibling love and rivalry with accuracy and honesty. Strong performances from Matt Bardock, Justin Salinger and Ruth Gemmell bind the fractured elements of the story.

It is short but powerful, Josie Rourke's assured direction at the Crucible Studio drawing the viewer in as the flow of words leads to an unexpected climax.

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