31 October 2011
Welcome to Halloween..
Welcome to contemporary theatre..
Welcome to the incredible mind of Simon Stephens.
Live theatre along with Plaines Plough and Salisbury Playhouse have all collaborated with one another and leash upon the public two heart felt tales of life and the meaning of it all.
In T5 a woman (Abby Ford) was just mulling through the day, what she had to do, what she needed to do, and listing what was the most important. Her husband, her child, the shopping were all in her thoughts..thoughts that we all shared. Through the use of wireless headphones we only got to know what was in her head, what she was really thinking, whether good, bad or evil. The woman was on the verge of something beautiful, then in the next thought on the verge of despair.
We hear of mindful conflicts of adulteress affairs, the day to day shite that fucks us all up, timelines and friendships going awry.
On her knees for a lot of the performance Ford showed us that everybody is vulnerable to falling down, to being on the top of the mountain one minute then harshly sliding down the bastard the next.
We have all been there, we think we are doing so well, then boom!! something comes out of the air and like a virus spreads the doom and the hysteria.
The inventiveness of introducing technology into the piece, told us that the thoughts of this poor woman could be quite throwaway able..we could have quite easily took off the headphones and listened to the silence without the craziness in her head..or we could grasp it by the throat and indulged. I indulged and loved it..I saw myself in the piece for a lot of the time, so could really relate to it..powerful stuff.
Extremely thought provoking
The ending of T5 crossed over into the performance of Seawall, with the dismantling of the set, whilst Ford and soon to see Cary Cranson, were in the process of coming off/in. This was a stripping of the soul, a fresh approach, a powerful statement by Stephens. A few bits of props were mishandled, like a glass being broken and electrical flex being caught up. Now I don't think this was part of the plan, but if not they should do it every night, as it added to the intrigue, the headfuck almost!!.
Then of course the cruel fate of hand came about and like a washing machine turned everything upside down, inside out bringing life and its meaning into disrepute.
Cranson was a cheeky charmer in his approach to this piece. Guiding us with his skill of the spoken word format/concept he gave us a great insight into how happy Alex was, he was bringing smiles to myself with his lovely 'hands up, who is having a great time with life' attack.
His gut wrenching ending punched a hole in just about everybody I spoke to afterwards, so sincere, so sad, but yet so real.
Simon Stephens has delivery quite a magnificent story telling night, with realism, and intellect inbound.
A must must see
London plays until 10th November.