SAY SOMETHING HAPPENED – Vault Festival #Vault2018

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

VAULT Festival is a place to try new things. Experiment. Develop. Succeed. And fail.

Boy, does Say Something Happened fall into the latter of these aims. This revival of Alan Bennett’s short play – an odd programming choice for such an experimental festival – is a mere 45 minutes. But it feels like I emerge from the show several days later contemplating how shockingly terrible the performances are.

The three-hander about an idealistic social services worker interviewing an elderly couple for the council’s new register of OAPs probably has something to say about isolation of the elderly within local communities, and the divide between generations. But that’s all but lost within a pace and delivery more akin to a badly programmed robot than human speech.

The acting is either entirely over-egged or flat. The performer playing the council worker is unable to communicate anything resembling genuine human emotion – she pulls an array of faces instead, accompanied by speech so fragmented it’s nearly impossible to follow.

The performers playing the older couple are marginally better, if only because they have fewer lines and less nervous dispositions. It’s a painful experience to endure.

The festival can certainly be hit and miss, especially with 400-odd shows spanning eight weeks. But Say Something Happened has missed by so far, it feels more like a poor amdram effort than a work trying to comment on any of the themes it addresses.

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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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