17 Minutes (2023), Gilded Balloon, Review

Deputy Sheriff sits lone looking fensive.
Rating (out of 5)
Show info
The Barrow Group with Marshall Cordell
Scott Organ (Writer); Seth Barrish (Director & Co-Artistic Director); Lee Brock (Co-Artistic Director); Robert Serrell (Executive Director); Marshall Cordell; Allison Parker (Producer, Stage Manager); David Calvitto (Producer); Edward T Morris (Set, Photo); Peter Small (Lights); Seth Barrish (Original Music)
Larry Mitchell (Andy Rubens); Brian Rojas (Detective Virgil Morris); DeAnna Lenhart (Samantha Rubens); Shannon Patterson (Mary Stevens); Michael Giese (Dan Watson); Lee Brock (Cecilia Bauserman)
Running time

A subtle, beautifully nuanced production, 17 Minutes explores the aftermath of a school shooting and the impact of what happened during those 17 minutes on the survivors, particularly one of the law enforcement officers. The opening scene is full of half-sentences, physical reactions, all of the unspoken indicators that something serious has happened but the person involved is so overwhelmed they cannot process what that is.

The cast as a whole is exceptional and the direction skilfully keeps the pace going without it seeming rushed which is incredibly hard to do. The performances are highly believable, with emotionally charged undertones bubbling away constantly, just under the surface. The clear restraint in place for much of the production simply strengthens the feeling of reality: when the tempers break, the audience lets go of a breath that they did not realise they were holding.

17 Minutes looks at a particularly unusual perspective of school shootings and highlights the life changing impact of this The build-up to the denouement is taut, with the outcome almost inevitable. When the end comes, it feels like a huge jump from recrimination to the final stage and that it has not quite eared that ending. Despite this, the show is powerful and deserves the packed audiences it has been experiencing. Shows have been packed so try to book early if you can.   

Show Time: 2-28 August (not 14, 21) @ 14:15

Gilded Balloon

Ticket Prices: £12-£14


Warnings and additional info: Contains distressing or potentially triggering themes, Strong language/swearingAccessible entry: Access to the performance space is via stairs or lift then there is level access into the venue. Wheelchair access type: Level Access, Lift (Building Lift). Stairs: 11-20. Age: 12+ (Guideline)