An Act of Kindness
Reviewed – 7th February 2018
“a wholesome, honest and heart-felt depiction of the lives of London’s population of twenty-somethings”
It is a truth universally acknowledged, that when you take a ride on any mode of public transport in London you must avoid human interaction at all costs. You don’t make eye contact, and god forbid you find the bottom of your jacket swooping into another’s designated personal space, only to be followed by a chorus of tutting and sighing from those around you.
TfL spaces, whether you’re being squished on a packed rush hour Victoria Line train or stuck on a South West train in between stations waiting for an announcement for some inkling of information, are often filled with channelled frustration. These are the spaces where micro-aggressions overtake the notion of basic human interaction and communication. In a city of millions of individuals, 5 million of which take the tube on a daily basis, all with their own stories and experiences shaping their current being, it seems like a waste to actively ignore the rest of your city “community.”
Rascal Theatre’s debut play, An Act of Kindness, tackles a concept that every Londoner can relate to. Why does public transport in London turn us into anti-social robots, actively avoiding the slightest of interactions? Is there something we can learn by those with whom we share our daily, gruelling commute? Rascal aim to “keep the audience’s experience at the centre of the creative process [and to] make worlds that are recognisable and reflective of the society around us.” This is evidently clear in the play which is written by, and stars one of the company’s co-creators, Helena Westerman.
It’s wildly refreshing to see a play not desperately trying to tackle enormously complicated global themes in the space of an hour, but rather focusing on something relatable and closer to home. The whole play is set at the same bus stop and acts as a reminder of the simplicity of the piece, which is most definitely part of its beauty. It is a simple story of two people who begin to shed their preconceptions of the ‘other’ figures in their lives that differentiate from those they usually associate with.
An Act of Kindness is a wholesome, honest and heart-felt depiction of the lives of London’s population of twenty-somethings as they struggle to find their place amongst the millions with whom they share this city. It acts as a reminder for us to be present in what may seem the less-important moments in your day, to be open and be interested in those around you as you never know who or what you might come across …
Reviewed by Claire Minnitt
Photography by Courtney Chapman
An Act of Kindness
Vaults Theatre until 11th February