REVIEW | Laika: A Staged Radio Play – Dreams. Responsibility. Truth.

Laika: A Staged Radio Play | The Blue Room Theatre | til Sept 30 | ★ ★ ★ ★  

Laika: A Staged Radio Play produced by Second Chance Theatre Company explores a group of plucky wedding guests who come across an abandoned radio station and an old radio play about cosmonauts from a Russian Space station during the Cold War space race.

First of all let me say, Second Chance Theatre Company have proved themselves in this production to both a well-oiled machine and team players with their absolute magnificence in handling live foley and audio visual on a very atmospheric set with such crisp and precise mastery, the theatrical craft and technical skills deployed brought this piece life, which allayed all concerns of walking into a staged radio play. Even the alienating flood light flashing on the audience had its own magic and took the audience into the world of the play.

In terms of the actors, we are subject to wedding guests playing Russian Cosmonauts and scientists: a play within a play. The emotional truth and connection found within the radio play itself was bold, in-depth and exciting. It was engaging in its stories and honoured those who lost their lives and dignity, both human and animal, in the space race and the Communist USSR’s ambitions to change the world.

On the other hand, the characters of the wedding guests walking into the radio station came across as tacked on as a foot note, they lacked the fleshing out required and they felt like radio presenters, which they could almost have gotten away with had they been, but they weren’t. It felt as though the actors were speaking for the audiences sake as opposed to just speaking to one another in these moments which disengaged the audience.

Also, the journey of these characters from beginning to end was relatively absent, I didn’t understand why these people who were so seemingly unaffected, were telling us the story and it begged the question why not just leave them out altogether? This left the ending to feel a little naff despite its good intentions. I would have liked the highs to be higher and the lows to be lower in these characters so that they complimented the work and story of the characters they were playing.

Overall, Laika: A Staged Radio Play was magical and brilliant touching my heart with stories untold from faceless people on the losing side of history, humanising an anachronistic threat to our way of life and bringing the unity of our humanity one step closer.

Kyle J Kash

Laika: A Staged Radio Play will be at The Blue Room Theatre until September 30th. Tickets and more information available from

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