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.
I went through a period of being obsessed with Greece’s bailout referendum in 2015. It wasn’t because I was a politics geek but mainly to do with my crush of Vanis Varoufakis, the country’s economy minister who was articulate and photogenic.
Quarter Life Crisis presents an upbeat take on the millennial phenomenon of big dreams, no cash, going viral, YouTube tutorials, having numerous zero-hour contracts, and surrendering the 16-25 railcard.
How do we cope when we don’t get what we want? How do we beat a system that is set up to make you fail? Custody asks just these questions, as we are taken on a two-year journey of a family’s struggle for justice for their loved one, twenty-nine year old Brian, who died whilst in police custody.
The story at the heart of the show, at first seems quite simple but as she unpacks (sometimes quite literally), the varying aspects of it, the intricate and complex nature of the subject matter becomes apparent.
Ever fancied being in a focus group? You know, the dreadful prospect of sitting on substandard office furniture under acidic fluorescent lights while ticking away your personality on a sliding scale?
In art, marketing is often used as a metaphor for a sense that we all inhabit a meaningless, shallow culture. And so it is in Focus Group where the audience are less immersed than they are occasional participants in a dialogue that ultimately means little to the play’s message or journey.
Being an immigrant is hard. Sure, it gets easier but it’s never easy. You are always an outsider, the Other, or that loaded word – FOREIGN.
Along with tickets, we are handed earplugs. Considering Christopher Brett Bailey’s first work This Is How We Die, I’m not surprised.
The story of this work of art is that of the strength and beauty that lies in the hearts of all female siblings. Women of all backgrounds contribute, their words form the basis of the dialogue, as they spin tales of heartbreak and triumph; salvation and disaster. Around fifty were interviewed, and their words form the raw material for the show.
British history is peppered with truly remarkable people. Kings, queens, writers, actors, scientists, athletes and military generals pepper school history books and cultural subconscious. Then there are the people like Henry Paget, fifth Marquis of Anglesey, who are largely forgotten, tucked away in the centuries-old folds of this country’s past.
A career telling stories was a goal they presumed I’d grow out of once. But then ‘they’ were grown-ups, who, I have since come to learn, are still figuring out how to grow up themselves. Gin, our teenage protagonist in Strawberry Vale, is trying to discover what it means to be Adult.
Invisible Treasure has no script and no actors. It’s not a play, but a playspace. For this hour long part-video game, part-puzzle, the audience/participants must work together to interpret the cryptic tasks that pop up on a small screen in the sterile room where they are deposited by theatre staff. The sensors, cameras and microphones that monitor the group at all times determine whether or not you progress to the next level or not, and the chance of failure is very real indeed.
I’ll be honest, I was a bit nervous about this one. The description of fanSHEN’s Invisible Treasure reads: ‘No actors. No plot. But there’s you.’ That’s a scenario that fills a risk-averse introvert like me with a sensation verging on panic. (Of course, it didn’t help that none of my friends were available, so I had to go solo.) But hey, it’s good to try new things, right?