B for Baby by Carmel Winters has come back home to The Peacock, after a 3 month tour around the country. It's a two person play set mostly around a man, B, and a woman, D, living in a care home. You realise fairly quickly that they have special needs but the play is not about their disabilities, it's about how they interact with each other and how B interacts with Mrs C, one of the care workers. Louis Lovett and Michele Moran reprise their dual roles from the original production at last year's Ulster Bank Theatre Festival. Some of the action takes place between Mrs C and her husband outside the home.
It is superbly acted. Lovett's ability to switch from Brian to B is so great that at times I forgot he was the same actor. Moran too - the first time she switched role, I wasn't entirely sure for a minute that it was the same actress. No doubt the fact that they've been touring with the play and playing these roles for several months helps - it's a tight production which runs like clockwork.
Like most Peacock sets, it's minimal but I really liked that the actors did all the stage placement themselves - taking down furniture from hooks in the ceiling. The bland palette of sky blue and white adds to the feeling that they are in their own little world and props like a Christmas tree with its bright injection of green look almost other worldly.
Though there are many laughs, this production is at its heart intense and the subject matter is difficult, not to mention hotly disputed. From the opening lines, I was right in there and my attention did not wander during the 1.5 hours. Lines and ideas have stayed with me and it keeps coming back into my mind - that's a sign of a good performance. But don't take my word for it - see it yourself.
B for Baby runs until 19th November.