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the domino heart

The term domino heart comes from the reusing of a heart if the patient of the initial transplant dies during surgery and the heart being passed onto the next patient. This play explores the interconnectivity of people involved in heart transplant. We are greeted with three actors on the stage, each with a 20 minutes monologue about their experiences and connections with the transplant. First we have the widow of the heart donor, played by the superb Amanda Hale, telling her anguish of losing her husband to a car accident. Her pain and devastation is pitch perfect, without being overly dramatic and her performance is completely absorbing. The second is a priest talking about his life and his impending surgery and finally a financial trader whose questionable moral and his troubled upbringing emphasis the question of whether anyone is more deserved to receive a heart.

The problem with the extended monologue is although it brings out a sort of narrative to each of their story, it is a rather dull and laborious exercise. It is presented like a closing argument of a court case and most of the details are trivial. Though there is a constant stream of subtle hint about their personality and pointers as to their view on the deeper discussion with heart transplant, it is a lot of words without much reward. If it were not for the work of the actors lifting a rather static piece of writing, it would be a fairly uninteresting piece of work. Ultimately, the play fails to say much about heart transplant and becomes a play about the lives of three not hugely interesting people.

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