This play was a very interesting experience for me. It reminded me a little bit about the “out-there” plays I have done in college. It was located in a very small theatre and I was about 2 feet away from the stage so I got to see everything up close. The opening scene consisted of the woman protagonist hula hooping to a remix of “Sweet Nothing” by Florence and the Machines. This modernized the play immediately since that song is currently on my running playlist (while I meander through Kensington Park I might add).
The set also went along with the modern feel. The floor had weird blue light stripes mapping the floor and casting out an eeirie machine-like glow. This delt the play a certain sci-fi feel. It also contributed to the transition periods when the actors moved their sets around, and changed their costumes for the next scene. I found the transitions distracting. It really kicked me out of the groove of the story. The transitions also were paired with fast-paced, harsh sounding music. The music made sense to me because it went along with the transition scenery, but the fact that the actors were moving their own stuff felt wrong. This feeling was especially enhanced for me when a transition began and an actress literally stopped sitting down immediately after hearing the music and began moving props. This action might have been a cool attempt at matching the “techy” theme of the transitions by moving in a robotic way. But, this technique was not consistent with one or any of the actors so the transitions looked sloppy. I just really didn’t understand what the director was going for with the transitions.. Especially since everything else in the transitions did seem so intentional and was paired with the play really well.
This play’s topic was pretty dark and depressing. I still enjoyed the story and the clear frustrations, hurt, pain, anger, and love that the characters went through. It sort of reminded me of a “PG” Ray Bradbury story (although it didn’t get THAT weird, hence the PG rating). That being said, the delivery of the lines left something to be desired. I didn’t feel a good connection between the husband and wife (not to mention that the wife looked like she was 45 and the husband looked like he was 30). They spoke their lines in a deadpan way which may be directed to a more british audience? I personally didn’t care for the style.
Overall, I’d say this play was a very interesting performance to uncover. There are a lot of elements and while they necessarily didn’t work for me, I think they did work on a few of my classmates that also saw the production. The topic was interesting, the story kept people in, but the casting/acting left something to be desired. I think the actors separately did a good job, but lacked chemistry together. Also, the transitions/set use in the transitions were interesting but had some major flaws (when someone gets as bothered/confused by a transition as I was, its a major flaw). It was a worthwhile experience, and I would recommend it to a person who likes to experience modern/futuristic plays that baffle and bewilder the audience.