Ella Hickson’s Precious Little Talent is The Bench’s latest outing. An interesting play – mixing realistic scenes and fourth-wall breaking direct-address to audience – it examines loss and our responses to it.
George (David Penrose) is a Brit who has fled to New York to hide the onset of dementia that is crowding him out of his own mind. Sam (Ben Tanner) is the carer who supports him and Joey (Katie Watson) is his daughter arriving unexpectedly in New York, also on the run from a life that is changing out of all recognition.
These are strong performances.
The frisson of the growing, doomed romance between Joey and Sam is very nicely executed.
As far as Tanner is concerned, it’s some of the finest work I’ve seen from him. His performance-choices are generally subtle and spot-on.
And then we come to Penrose. Always an actor I admire, here he is superlative. His moment of direct-address steams with anger and love and passion and fear and frustration. I don’t think it’s going too far to say this is amateur acting at its absolute finest.
Not to be missed.