A world away
26 March 2018
Ava Davies basks in the warmth of Lights over Tesco Carpark
I needed joy this morning - post opening ceremony and I was anxious, tired, irritable. The four cast members bounded towards me as I ambled into the Venue, massive grins, exclaiming greetings, dressed in an assortment of neon. I just thought
u kno what
i’d really rather not 2day thx
Yeah lol I was mega wrong.
I tweeted after the show that it was as if Breach Theatre’s The Beanfield had mated with ThisEgg’s Goggles. That mix of documentary (but IS IT really documentary???) and pieced together, child-like joy all mashed together with a heady dose of flying saucer sherbet.
I had an argument with my boyfriend afterwards that mainly consisted of me yelling “IT’S ABOUT MAKING THEATRE” and him yelling back “NO, IT’S JUST META-THEATRICAL” and after I got over the intense twattery of that exchange I thought about it a bit more. Someone else I know thought it was about refugees. Someone else thought it was about friendship. I mean. Sure. But tbh it was actually about making theatre with a couple mentions of aliens. It is about making theatre, it’s about the suspension of disbelief, the contract you enter with the people onstage and off as you step into a theatre. It’s about trust and kindness and empathy and Getting It Wrong.
It was exactly what I love about good student theatre. Unpretentious and playful. Messy and warm. There were moments where dialogue thudded - I think I’ve had enough of the “omg they’re playing themselves and now they’re having an argument onstage” thing - it feels a tiny bit Too self-aware, and when you’re making a show this joyful and still apparently playing yourselves and not characters, then the self-awareness feels like it tips into a kinda calculatedness. Maybe that’s the wrong word. It just suddenly reveals the cogs whirring behind the sweetness and apparent spontaneity. We know there is artifice involved in making a show, we know that there has to be planning and it can’t all be rainbows and sunshine in the devising room. But for a second - because of the light and generosity - we want to believe.
Photo credit: Giulia Delprato