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None Too Fragile’s ‘Skylight’ is a feast for the soul

There are some productions that simply are a cut above the rest when the combination of writing, theme, actors, lighting and set all come together for an amazing evening of theater. Such is the case with the highly recommended None Too Fragile Theatre’s “Skylight” that is now on stage until December 16, 2023.

School teacher Kyra Hollis (Diana Frankhauser) lives quietly alone in a small East London flat. While her residence is moderately well appointed with the rudimentary basics of kitchen/living room, bedroom and bath it has substandard heating that has the rooms freezing during the long and cold English winter. Her only way to attempt to fend off the chill is with a small space heater.

Kyra (who graduated top of her class at University) teaches at a school in what could be termed the slums. Her students are at risk, children of immigrants or on the verge of dropping out. To her it is a crusade to rescue these children from a life of poverty and crime. This was not always the case. Kyra herself grew up in a privileged household but when he father passed she only got a small portion of the inheritance with the rest going to a national cat charity. Her present vocation does not pay well.

At the age of eighteen, Kyra left home and arrived in London. Seeing a help wanted sign on an upscale restaurant, she applied. She was hired on the spot and after only one hour she was suddenly made manager as her boss (Alice) had a family emergency. Somehow she made it through the evening rush with the help of the staff. She was later asked to move in with Alice and her husband, Tom (who owned a number of restaurants) at their estate where she looked after their two children, Edward (Daniel Teleford) and their daughter. All is well until Alice finds lover letters in the kitchen that Tom forgot to hide in the attic safe. It proves that Kyra and Tom have had a six year long love affair. Kyra leaves this lap of luxury to pursue her way in the world.

Tom’s son Edward reenters Kyra’s life when he “just happens to drop by with beer and rap CDs” to let Kyra know that Alice had died of cancer a year ago. He wants to know why Kyra abandoned them so many years ago. He also tells of his estranged father’s disconnect with the world. Edward leaves but soon another visitor arrives, Tom.

He rather barges in making fun of the sparse living arrangement and lack of proper heat. As they talk, Kyra is cooking a spaghetti dinner which Tom boldly asks to be invited to. He has arrived with a gift...a partially filled bottle of scotch which he proceeds to drink with Kyra drinking her own wine. It soon becomes apparent that Kyra and Tom have drifted miles apart. Tom is all about the money and power although his stature has been reduced with the inclusion of a board of directors and CEO to his organization and life. He even makes it a point to argue about her choice of topping cheese for the meal.

His is a life adrift after the death of his wife who was his anchor even during the affair. The title comes from a huge skylight that he had installed in Alice’s bedroom so that she would be surrounded by beauty and nature as her time drew short. Kyra, on the other hand is perfectly happy taking the bus each day to her slum school in order to salvage those who would face no chance in life. They banter back and forth until in a fit of passion they kiss and end up in bed. End of Act I.

The entire work takes a little over two and a half hours (it takes time to cook a meal and argue about past and present situations). While the plot is slow in developing, the acting is of such high quality that the passing of time is suspended. Both Kyra and Tom know what they want and while there is still a spark between them are unwilling to compromise in order to have some type of relationship.


First of all, the English accents are impeccable and are maintained through the entire performance. The show is like witnessing the rising and falling of the tide as each perpetrator attempts to get the upper hand. There is shouting and the throwing of various objects to emphasize their frustrations. Amazingly fine acting on everyone’s part. The stage set was designed and constructed by Sean Derry (who also directed) and has a full working kitchen and is quite reminiscent of flats found all over London.

The intimacy of this tiny box theater works well to draw the audience in. It is like being a neighbor with the wall removed. If you can snag a ticket to this show...DO SO! Cheers!

The None Too Fragile production of Skylight will be on stage at 732 West Exchange Street, Akron, Ohio through December 16, 2023. For more information go to or call (330) 962-5547.


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Who is Mark Horning?

Over the course of my life I have worked a variety of jobs including newspapers, retail camera sales and photography. Eight years ago I embarked on yet another career as writer. This included articles concerning sports and cultural events in Cleveland, Ohio as well reviews of the many theatrical productions around town. These days are spent photographing professional dance groups, theater companies and various galas and festivals as well as attending various stage performances and posting reviews about them.  

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