Tag Archives: Tommo Fowler

Everybody Cares, Everybody Understands

★★★½

VAULT Festival 2020

Everybody Cares Everybody Understands

Everybody Cares, Everybody Understands

Cavern – The Vaults

Reviewed – 11th February 2020

★★★½

 

“lightening-up moments here and there could only reinforce its intrinsically powerful  message”

 

Everybody Cares, Everybody Understands brought to the VAULT Festival by Papercut Theatre takes itself perhaps a bit too seriously – but is powerful nevertheless.

Lou is not exactly mentally stable. In fact, she is pretty much mentally unstable – but not in a pretty Hollywood way. She does not suffer silently. She is not a hero. She is not a delicate flower. When faced with the world that thinks of her as simultaneously dangerous and pathetic, Lou starts questioning if her problems do not actually became her own sense of self.

Played by diverse cast of four (Josie Charles, Joe Eyre, Hamza Siddique, Tricia Wey), each character filters their experiences with mental problems through their own lenses – lenses of different skin tones, ages, relationship and professional status. Their own struggles revolve around Lou’s struggles: sometimes different people play Lou, sometimes they all meet Lou during a group therapy, sometimes they date Lou, and sometimes Lou interacts with them to gain a deeper understanding of their own personal battles.

The entire play is wholly deconstructed for the audience (including loudly proclaimed scene changes and even in-play discussions about the intent behind the play), as quite boldly directed by Wiebke Green. The flow between scenes could have been perhaps a bit smoother – it is sometimes a bit difficult to empathise with the characters, let alone understand them. In print, the whole concept is probably very clear, however on stage a bit of framing for the sake of smoothness would be beneficial.

Needless to say, lighting by Holly Ellis is absolutely magnificent, especially in such a non-theatrical (although admittedly very cool) space as The Vaults. It is dynamic and surprising and perfectly amps things up when they start turning a bit monotonously serious.

Because here’s the rub – with all its brilliant qualities, Everybody Cares, Everybody Understands takes itself a tiny little bit too seriously. Not to say that its topic should be taken lightly as such – absolutely not – but lightening-up moments here and there could only reinforce its intrinsically powerful  message.

 

Reviewed by Dominika Fleszar

 

VAULT Festival 2020

 

 

Click here to see all our reviews from VAULT Festival 2020

 

Mumburger thespyinthestalls

Mumburger

The Old Red Lion Theatre

Opening Night – 30th June 2017

 

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

 

“an exciting, moving, hilarious and provocative piece of theatre”

 

The first thing we hear from Tiffany (Rosie Wyatt) is an extended burp, caused by her opening and downing a can of Diet Coke on stage. It’s a good introduction to this immensely visceral play, in which the playwright, Sarah Kosar, explores the pain that stems from grief and emotional isolation by putting the body centre stage.

The metaphorical is made concrete. It’s a simple, but effective theatrical concept, and is cleverly offset by the striking visual projections behind the action, which serve as a continual reminder of the online world which we all increasingly inhabit.

Photography courtesy of Lidia Crisafulli

Kosar is a playful playwright, both in her willingness to embrace the surreal, and the evident pleasure she takes in the spoken word. There are some wonderful Ortonesque moments – ‘And I just lost my mum. My parent. I’m a half-orphan now’, Tiffany spits at her dad (Andrew Frame) towards the beginning of the show. I also loved the sections of Kate Tempest inspired spoken word in the piece, in which Tiffany tries to make sense of her painful emotional landscape.

Despite the subject matter, the play is also extremely funny, and it’s a testament to both the playwright and the two performers that this reviewer both cried with laughter and was moved to tears within the show’s 75 minute time frame. Andrew Frame’s Hugh was a poignant portrait of a man initially paralysed by the loss of his wife, slowly returning to the world and re-finding his relationship with his daughter.

Witnessing him open up, both physically and vocally, over the course of the play, was a delight. Although I could have done with a little more tonal variation, Rosie Wyatt was convincing too as the neurotic 25 year old Tiffany, weighed down by the loss of her mother, inching towards the light. Tommo Fowler’s able and subtle direction allowed each character to breathe, and the design team (Robbie Butler – lighting; Odinn Orn Hilmarsson – sound; Charlotte Henery – set and costume; Fed – projection) created an arresting visual and aural world.

Mumburger is an exciting, moving, hilarious and provocative piece of theatre. Kosar is clearly a talent to watch.

 

Reviewed by Rebecca Crankshaw

 

Mumburger thespyinthestalls

Mumburger

plays at The Old Red Lion until July 22nd