'Where the Shot Rabbits Lay' or 'Beans, bonding and Bear Grylls (sort of).'

‘Where the Shot Rabbits Lay’, Brad Birch
White Bear Theatre, Thursday 12th September 2013
Written for Time Out

There are some lovely grace notes in Brad Birch’s intimate father-son tale, ‘Where the Shot Rabbits Lay’, but a few duff scenes too.  

A rugged dad (Peter Warnock), bearing a vague resemblance to Bear Grylls, is taking his milky soft son (Richard Linnell) on a camping trip. They’re going to eat beans, bond and attempt to salvage their relationship in the wake of a messy divorce. They’re also going to try to shoot rabbits. 

Andy Robinson’s abstract set – really just a mash of natural colours – sets the tone for this unassuming production. Director Roland Jaquarello is careful not to over-impose, although his constant use of twanging ‘outback’ music does begin to grate. 

Birch’s writing is best at its least self-conscious. There are some small but striking little moments; the lads’ first shared joke or a simple apology from the boy to his dad. It’s the big, messy arguments that misfire. The father’s cruel outbursts feel too venomous for such a gentle hum of a play. One wonders why the poor lad doesn’t just run home to his mum. 


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