If. Destroyed. Still. True @ Hope Theatre Review

Our hometowns are where we form our first formative relationships, meaningful connections that teach us how to bond with others – and have that potential to either last a lifetime or slowly wither away. Cocooned in our surrounding microcosm, we get used to the familiar, change perhaps a scary thing for some, for others – their hearts calling to make a move and pursue the next part of their life journey. An exploration of childhood friendship, relationships, love, loss, class, mental health and addiction, Jack Condon‘s If. Destroyed. Still. True is an honest look at the conversations that shape us. The play examining the impact of suicidal states of mind and grief, creating a safe space to explore these existential realities and a vital piece of theatre for the moment.

Courtesy of Alex Brenner.

What initially brings friends John (Jack Condon) and James (Theo Ancient) together, now very gradually tears them apart, Anna Kelsey‘s stunning naturalistic leafy, sandy coastal thrust staging placing all at the heart of the duo’s Southend based beginnings, John staying true to his roots, currently still residing there, James having moved away but returned to reconnect with John having graduated from university and pursued a career within education. We’re made privy to the duo’s brotherly bond, James’ introduction of new girlfriend Charlotte (Whitney Kehinde) inevitably re-shaping the dynamic and one interesting to watch play out.

Condon tenderly explores mental health and addiction, in particular bravely drawing on the topics of suicide and grief, taboo subjects that are given the space to be delved into further which Condon has to be commended for. We watch how these realities shape all three individuals and their grappling with that. Sarah Stacey directing a cathartic evening, one where we connect with all of the cast and are left to assess our own lives. Joseff Harris‘ compositions and sound designs ambient, spatial soundscapes intertwined with sound clippings of the cast and sweeping sounds of the sea culminating in a very profound experience!

Review written by Lucy Basaba.

If. Destroyed. Still. True is currently showing until Saturday 14th May 2022 at The Hope Theatre. To find out more about the production, visit here…

Written by Theatrefullstop