I really wanted to like ‘BED’, and in some respects I do, but sadly it falls rather short of its potential. ‘BED’ with a revised script could be a great play, but in its current incarnation I’m afraid it fails to truly be anything special.
The dialogue is not bad, in fact it’s very naturalistic and uncontrived, it just felt a tad dragged out and occasionally rambling. Often by the time a scene actually got around to a point it was building on, I’d already slightly lost interest in what that point was. Revision of the script could easily solve this problem, and mine out the genuine gems that exist within it.
In terms of acting, I have no real criticism to make. Céline Buckens, as Imogen, has a natural and easy talent when it comes to acting, and is easily the best thing about the piece. She manages to save any scene she crops up in, giving a fresh execution during some of the more crowded and repetitive stretches of dialogue that kept me invested despite my issues. Wild (or war) horses couldn’t keep Buckens from giving an excellent performance, so she’s naturally an asset to any show. Not to say that she’s the play’s sole talent. Nikhil Parmar makes for a very endearing lead, and has a clear rapport with Buckens that further compensates for some of the script issues.
The staging of piece is also done well. Minimalism is BED’s friend and the single room set served to reinforce the themes of (in I interpreted it right) confinement, restriction, and self-imposed isolation.
BED is blessed with a cast that hold the play up despite certain short comings in writing. Certain revisions, a more satisfying conclusion I think being foremost among them, could’ve helped BED be a good or even great play. In its current incarnation it remains only okay. It was definitely worth seeing but still only okay.