Talking Tongues is a smallish, youngish company which succeeds in blurring all the boundaries: between high art and populism, between physical and text-based work, between intellectual and emotional theatre. Versatility does not, in its case, mean blandness.

It started at Cambridge, with 45-minute shows in which the actors performed in empty discos and disused lecture theatres; it made a name for itself with a brand of impressionistic, musically-based pieces such as Glue Wedding (nominated for an Independent Award in Edinburgh in 1991) and Hove (part of the National's 1993 Springboards season). Tonight sees the opening of Resolution, a straight play, though not a conventional one, which takes a slanting look at the low-level agony of ordinary life, disguised by biting humour but revealed, from this oblique angle, in its true bleakness.

The company's advantage is the reluctance of individuals to restrict their talents. Just when David Farr was starting to get 'award-winning director' regularly in front of his name, he wrote a play, Neville Southall's Washbag, which enjoyed modest success at the Finborough. Resolution has been written by the company's composer, Murray Gold, who sat through the rehearsals for Hove, then disappeared for six weeks and came back with this play. 'We're all learning together,' reports 24-year-old Farr. 'We take an empirical approach; we see it as an old-fashioned apprenticeship system, and we're fortunate that we are managing to do what we want.'

'Resolution' at BAC (071-223 2223)

(Photograph omitted)

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