Everything Today is the Same
Katzpace Studio Theatre
Reviewed – 26th May 2019
“there are some really exciting moments in this play … but the piece lacks consistency”
‘Everything Today Is the Same’ is set in a room. A room that its inhabitants haven’t left for as long as they can remember. They don’t remember much about the old place. Only that it was awful and it is safer in here. As one inhabitant rationalises: “Why did we get trapped here in the first place if everything was so wonderful out there?” But now the food is running out and one of them is getting a feeling like memory, and they have a decision to face.
Visually, the piece looks really cohesive under the watchful eye of Danäe Cambrook’s direction. The three performers are clad in blueish-green clothing, a colour scheme echoed in the rug and their food and drink. A yellow jumper and yellow washing up gloves add vivid pops of difference.
It is always difficult starting a play stuck in one place. As an audience we know there are really only two options, and the latter most likely can’t be explored until the end of the play. However, this is a really interesting – if not entirely original – premise created by writer E. C. Mason, but it unfortunately isn’t fully consistent in its construction. Mason creates alternative language for certain things, a lovely touch but it begs the question, why some words and not others? They lack the language for sex but have the language for almost everything else. Mason’s writing has a tendency to tell more than show – we are often being explained to – and this is something that translates into what is happening onstage. There is too much demonstration.
From the beginning of the play, Klara Kaliger, Esra Alma and Hester Tallack (the three inhabitants) are acting too much, sighing and sweeping, to create the normal of this space which they are stuck in. This is a wonderful opportunity to play with stillness and boredom onstage that is not taken. Later on, they suffer from almost the opposite problem. The energy when it’s there is really successful, but it drops too regularly between sentences making the dialogue feel stilted, losing its flow. The writing doesn’t help create this flow for the actors. Structurally it seems to go back and forth and as a result can feel repetitive.
There are, however some fantastic moments: the physical violence in the small space is incredibly powerful and claustrophobic, the stillness and time given to the recovery after this incident works really well. The problem of conflict in a limited space which no one can leave, is explored in a very interesting way and could be explored further. The new world game and the surrealism involved in that was another highlight, beautifully written and vividly created onstage. The relationship between the three is nuanced and moving, and the dark, morbid humour that they have developed towards each other in this space is a really interesting facet of the writing. I would love to see this pushed further.
Ultimately there are some really exciting moments in this play which explore conflict, language and friendship, but the piece lacks consistency both in its writing and in its performance.
Reviewed by Amelia Brown
Everything Today is the Same
Katzpace Studio Theatre until 29th May
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