Faress's latest play, Seed, details the link between Anglo India
and Kent, and the continuing results of the mystery in this relationship.
The two actors slowly reveal a plot revolving around the mixed race
nature of a very proper English family, something which is shrouded
in secrecy and rejection. The play really takes place in the contemporary
setting of Tunbridge Wells, something not necessarily obvious, and
the nature of English involvement in the subject of the play is
subject to much scrutiny.
(William Maxwell) is a perfect example of the English gentleman's
dichotomy in the contrast between the stern laconic treatment of
his granddaughter and his manic-depressive outbursts, which are
strikingly coarse, in xenophobic response to the ghost of a distant
relative. Charlotte Pyke puts in very able and distinct performances
as both Andrea and Francis, granddaughter and ghost, and demonstrates
the originality of the script and direction. She is able to produce,
for both characters, a defining scene of accumulating force that
has her pirouette her way to drunken expressionism as Andrea and
lapse into caustic verse as the vitriolic ghost Frances. An excellent
performance is perhaps only compromised by a lingering smile that
blurs the distinction between her two characters.
Faress's persistent rhymes, resulting for instance in Andrea 'the
mouse' rarely being mentioned without noting the smallness of the
'house,' can become a little staid, the changes in plot and characters
are so rapid that such mantra's become useful in keeping track of
the not immediately intelligible plot.
play may lose some intensity in the second half, as the mystery
of the exact nature of the plot, one of the most intriguing parts
of the first half, is quickly removed but the play makes it's point
well. Just as the racist English mind of Edmund is explored with
a disturbing intensity; the acceptability of the play in detailing
such feelings is mirrored by the need for a happy ending to the
plot, achieved through open honesty.