Late Company is an intense, intimate play, perfectly suited to the small Trafalgar Studio 2, whose three rows of seats all feel right in the heart of the action.
The parents of a teenager who committed suicide, invite one of his teenage tormentors, and his parents, to dinner. Brave, is one word you could use, to describe the sending of that invitation, and equally brave to accept. Presumably one set of parents is hoping for some kind of closure over the death of their son and the other parents are hoping for some kind of redemption for theirs.
The result is an awkward dinner party of epic proportions; raw emotions unsuccessfully reined in over pasta and salad, broken occasionally by moments of dark humour. The play is beautifully written and wonderfully acted. The writing is very even handed, you can understand the pain and resentment of each character as they speak, and yet you can also understand why the others cannot forgive.
The acting is key to this play, all five are brilliant, but David Leopold as Curtis, the accused bully, is exceptional, his part is a great one, and he delivers it perfectly. I love writing that encourages us to examine our prejudices, and this is a play that complicates the allocation of blame.
Jordan Tannahill, who wrote this at the age of 23, shows all the hallmarks of a very talented new playwright and I will be looking out for more of his work when it comes to London.