Loss can play hell with one’s sense of trust. When everyone you love leaves you, who can you count on?
In Simon Stephens’ “Port,” Rachel is abandoned by almost everyone she loves; those who stay are unable to give her the support she needs. The play follows her through bad choices that her flawed background forces her to make.
Stephens’ hand is subtle, almost too much so. Long stretches of the script need stronger conflict and a more tangible nod to the piece’s thread. But the ensemble injects life into the lulls; Caroline Neff captures Rachel’s grief with a natural touch that tugs at the heart. Andrew Swanson’s portrayal of Rachel’s first love is a bittersweet exercise in bad timing; John Byrnes brings the right amount of tension and insecurity to Rachel’s thuggish husband. Director Jonathan Berry keeps the desperation and longing level with humor and love. (Lisa Buscani)
Griffin Theatre Company at the Raven Theatre Complex, 6157 North Clark, (800)838-3006. Through February 26.