Preview: EUTCo’s August: Osage County

Preview: EUTCo’s August: Osage County

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Ricky Freelove had a sneak peek at some of the scenes from EUTCo’s upcoming production, August: Osage County.

Chaotic family dinner after the funeral Image Credits: EUTCo
Chaotic family dinner after the funeral
Image Credits: EUTCo

Exeter University’s Theatre Company (best known as EUTCo) is staging Tracy Letts’ Pullitzer Prize winning  ‘August: Osage County’ next week and it is set to be yet another success for the theatre group.

‘August: Osage County’ is set in a modern-day town in the American Deep South state of Oklahoma, where Beverley Weston, the head of a large family goes missing. Due to his mysterious disappearance, his grown up children are forced to return to their childhood home to console their mother and attempt to retrace the steps of their father. The tumultuous family reveals hard truths to one another that brings the them to the verge of breaking point.

This dark comedy explores the intricate relations of a broken down American family and how they deal with their shared predicament. The show, as far as I can tell, is a tragicomedy; it has a humorous script, but sits amongst some much darker themes of illness, addiction and deceit.

Although I only saw a selection of scenes, it is clear that the co-directors of the show, Lucy Hirst and Jamie Manton, have done an excellent job at capturing every nuance and idiosyncratic movement between the characters and their relationships. Lucy told me after I saw the chaotic dinner scene that, “Every look and movement between the characters over (and under) the dinner table is staged”. This wondrously captures the strained relationships within the family and explains how the show looks so authentic.

Violet Weston (Hannah Lawrence) and Johnna Monevata (Bryony Skinn) discussing issues at the table Image Credits: EUTCo
Violet Weston (Hannah Lawrence) and Johnna Monevata (Katherine Stevens) discussing issues at the table
Image Credits: EUTCo

There is some real talent amongst the cast; even after just a glimpse of EUTCo’s interpretation of the show, I feel that special attention should be paid to Hannah Lawrence who plays the role of Violet Weston, and was absolutely outstanding in the scenes I was able to watch. She balances the character’s drug-addicted, sharp-tongued personality exquisitely and unintentionally dominates the stage.

Ricky Freelove, Arts Editor

EUTCo’s ‘August: Osage County’ takes to the stage between 5 – 8 February at the Northcott Theatre. Tickets range from £12-14. For more information click here. Click here to buy tickets.

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