The Exact Dimensions of Hell


Fortyfivedownstairs Theatre
18 Apr – 28 Apr
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“The Exact Dimensions of Hell”, written by Bridget Mackey and shown at Fortyfive Downstairs theatre, explores the intimate relationship between young women and their wants.  We meet a 14-year-old, played by the passionate Matilda Gibbs, wanting to become a witch to satisfy her needs from the world, when a seemingly trustworthy man played by the incredible Daniel Schlusser enters the story, leading the young girl to believe he can help.

The set was minimalistic. A ladder, a chair, tea sets, drapes and a large projector type piece of fabric at the back. Although there was not much to the set, it helped to strike up the audience’s creative side to anticipate how the performers would use it.

When arriving at the theatre, we were pleasantly surprised with a lovely, small gallery to admire while waiting for the show. I took this time to read about the inspirations for the play in their Program Notes.

Once the show had begun, my fascination with the characters truly sparked. I was fully engrossed in the philosophical meanings of each movement done by Gibbs and Schlusser. The play itself has large themes of sexual violence against minors, and I find the uncomfortableness I felt during those moments are what makes this play so curious. Schlusser and Gibbs evoke feelings in the audience, and that is what I believe makes wonderful acting.

After the play had ended, there was a moment of silence in the audience after our applause. There were so many emotions to take in. Both these striking performers left the audience speechless following the show.

Overall, “The Exact Dimensions of Hell” explores sensitive topics and, through meaningful acting, is able to leave audience members shaken. A show that has no interval and lasts ninety minutes. Playing at Fortyfive Downstairs until the 28th of April.


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