HOME – Touring

In London theatre, Opinion, Plays, Reviews by Laura KresslyLeave a Comment

Ovalhouse, London – until 6 May 2017
Then touring

Scarlet and Olive were left behind when the evacuation transport left their town without them. A dust storm has rendered their home a foreign landscape. They have five days until the transport will return to collect any stragglers, and news is due over the radio at any time between now the then. The resourceful young women must work together to find water and build a shelter so they can survive until someone comes back to get them, and the audience of people with profound and multiple learning difficulties (PMLD) is there to help.

Frozen Light’s steampunk adventure is a multi-sensory one – smells, sound, taste and touch all play a role in the story. Each milestone in the plot is punctuated with music and 1:1 interaction with the disabled members of the audience. Being able to watch their reactions to these encounters is a privilege, and proof that people of all cognitive abilities can appreciate theatre. The story is simple enough that it doesn’t lose momentum, and the music also helps keep the energy up.

The performers accompany their dialogue and songs with Makaton, a simplified sign language used in special schools and in baby signing. This end up serving a choreographic function and is easy to follow as well as visually appealing. The script repeats key words and phrases, but they are usually set to music and don’t last so long that the action is slowed too much, like the 1:1s.

There is certainly appeal to audiences outside of the target demographic. The production is lively and fun, and doesn’t treat anyone overly gently. Home is a clever feast for the senses and provides the time to relish the stimulation and joy of storytelling. It’s a gentle experience full of love and patience, and wholly commendable work from Frozen Light.

Laura Kressly on RssLaura Kressly on Twitter
Laura Kressly
Laura is a US immigrant who has lived in the UK since 2004. Originally trained as an actor with a specialism in Shakespeare, she enjoyed many pre-recession years working as a performer, director and fringe theatre producer. When the going got too tough, she took a break to work in education as a support worker, then a secondary school drama teacher. To keep up with the theatrical world, she started reviewing for Everything Theatre and Remotegoat in 2013. In 2015, Laura started teaching part time in order to get back into theatre. She is now a freelance fringe theatre producer and runs her independent blog, theplaysthethinguk.com.
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Laura Kressly on RssLaura Kressly on Twitter
Laura Kressly
Laura is a US immigrant who has lived in the UK since 2004. Originally trained as an actor with a specialism in Shakespeare, she enjoyed many pre-recession years working as a performer, director and fringe theatre producer. When the going got too tough, she took a break to work in education as a support worker, then a secondary school drama teacher. To keep up with the theatrical world, she started reviewing for Everything Theatre and Remotegoat in 2013. In 2015, Laura started teaching part time in order to get back into theatre. She is now a freelance fringe theatre producer and runs her independent blog, theplaysthethinguk.com.

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