Last night was kicked into touch with Fit Piece, followed by the poetics of Winter Light, and lastly but not least, we were served, humbly with Voucher.
A unifying link from all three plays was the ever increasing sense of philosophy, and the reflection of Human behaviour and how that fathers our attitudes and emotions.
Firstly, we were taken on exercise with Fit Piece. We were shown how a Militant background in Jake’s (Gym Instructor) life and performativity causes problems. Also how if the root issue of control, is allowed to fester and cultivate, the damage it causes.
Narrative themes relevant to now, still are fresh in my mind. The peer pressure that is thrown at us daily through social propaganda, and friends influences. ‘you need to dress a certain way’ ‘have certain gadgets’ ‘be something that others want’ ‘your body MUST look like this’ … all paraphrase the cruxes underlined in Fit Piece and what writer Helen Shay wanted to articulate.
The performance was great, it was a sweaty, dystopian gym membership manifested right before our eyes. I felt sympathy for Lulu (Louise- Protagonist), a woman, whose lardy confidence had melted and is suggested to join a gym in order to get fitter. However she revived herself with a cup of self belief, and perseveres through much time being stalked and tortured mentally by Gym instructor Jake.
Beyond the modern-day Frankenstein-esque weirdo, I too felt a slight tug on my heartstrings for Jake (fitness instructor/ he’s got issues – antagonist) his own life choices have led to him being a walking, talking time bomb of control. The themes of power and control, and how Jake needed that in order to feel important. His identity found through the carving of peoples appearances, made me feel sad, as there are multitudes who go to the gym to ‘better’ themselves for the affirmation of other people. Social, yet relevant, Fit Piece scored applause and swhetted (see what I did there?) our appetites.
In order to break free from all that social pressure, today I will be found eating a donut, and probably drink a coffee and not going on a run. 1-0 to me vs THA Man..
Secondly, the brightness of Winter Light shined. The power filled introduction of a darkened stage, with music that creates ambience, must grip you, it has to. If it doesn’t you might want to look at a photo of kittens knitting or something. Just to check you’re emotions are intact. Lights up, we were introduced to a suited and dressed brother and sister. Both sat at a table with awkwardness upon their faces. Stage left a mother like figure with a Henry Hoover joined the cast, and perched in a vintage chair.
A genius idea, flustered out of the head of brother Joe to create a student budget concoction of ‘Egg in a Cup’. (Recipe to follow…) The stitching of unknown Mother like figure was made apparent through irony in dialogue, that the domesticated momma, was in fact a ghost of their late mum. The sister Anna, in floral, a self made identity, not yet to the terms of her mothers death. The witty banter between brother and sister, puts the fun back into Funeral. A strong sense of philosophical legacy was pinned, mainly through the tongue of the dead mum. Although the use of witty lines and a transcendence of the abstract and concrete met in dialogue. Writer Christine Foster, in the Q&As stated she wanted to correlate the spiritual realm and the everyday, to which we see, yet don’t see. Like any Celtic knot, the interconnectedness of reality and spirit was the intention. One word to describe Winter Light – Poetry. It had flow, emotion, care, it was someone’s heart being performed through three actors. A tender sending off into the light.
Finally, we were served at the checkout with Voucher. A nine piece play, with all demographics of England, trapped in a superstore. The metaphor of consumerism rang strong, alongside the brashness of the social stereotypes. The elderly Indian Gent, the Nigerian Oboe player, the upper class closet Racist, the full time Mother, the qualified Northern European, who was never given a looking. The young Black boyfriend and his young lady, the domesticated Soldiers wife and lastly but not least the Check out attendant. A broad brushstroke of society in one shopping centre. All hell breaks lose when the system fails and the electronics trap everyone within the four walls of retail.
A first time piece by local writer Danka Thorne, a fascinating script with Orwellian like fundamentals. Going in as a blind cast, the actors did a spectacular job of becoming the ethnic identities of each character. Again, an anthropological approach on how society behaves when rubber hits the road. Philosophical in the most un subtle way. We loved it.
Tonight, we’ll be performing Christopher Loft’s ‘The Interview’ and Barbara Bridger’s ‘A Stranger To Myself’.
If you’re found, with nothing to do and fancy an injection of fresh theatre and local talent, you are most welcome to come down to the Place Theatre Bedford for 7:30pm. Tickets are available on the door.
Look forward to seeing you all there.