Hampstead Theatre – Via Instagram – until 29 March 2020
Filmed in 2018, this play by American writer Lauren Gunderson makes a welcome, limited, return to Hampstead Theatre’s Instagram.
Maisie Williams makes a stunning stage debut in the role of Caroline, trapped within four walls by a serious illness. When Anthony (Zach Wyatt) turns up to share a school project, they start to explore a difficult introduction which feels accurate to two teenagers of any type, let alone when isolation is thrown into the mix.
In the current climate, I And You feels strangely prophetic, with children all over the world in lockdown from the current pandemic. Caroline is clearly artistic and creative, with stars dotted on her skylight windows and posters lined up on her walls.
“I just can’t abide irresponsible crafting,” states this tough girl who knows she has limited time but still asserts, “I’m not delicate.” Her body betrays her her real feelings, with a flash of fear now and then which switches to mischief.
“The country is divided, and ladies are trapped in their clothes”: Caroline’s growing passion for the “racy” Walt Whitman is both amusing and touching. The poet who loved the small stuff, the “sexy sex”, makes an awkward interaction between growing children on the cusp of adulthood so believable. I And You is playful, poignant, and raw.
Filmed in portrait, with the occasional split screen to reflect the action at both ends of the frame, Edward Hall’s production works well on the screen with Michael Pavelka’s set showing both clutter and the trappings which represent the whole life of one person.
I And You runs just short of 90 minutes, and is a tightly-crafted piece of drama with strong performances from both Williams and Wyatt as they explore the things they like and which make them unique. It is available on Instagram until 29 March.