Sunday, February 7, 2021

DIGITAL SHARING 1 (Kickitdown Productions)****

 

By Dave

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zk9qmScoyF8

Available until: Unknown

Kickitdown Productions livestreamed these plays during December. Now they’re available to watch on youtube. The first three make up Digital Sharing 1. There are six collections altogether and they’ll all be reviewed over the next couple of weeks.

In Let’s Meet Up, Rick and Sunni are two friends separated by COVID. Rick isn’t too sure about all these rules. He wants to bend them at the very least. Sunni is a lot more concerned about being safe. But their lives are about to change. Again. Sunni is going off to university (Rick’s geographical ignorance is… interesting) and that’s often when friendships disappear. It probably happens less now everyone’s on social media and Zoom but people do change and make new connections.

Ed Birch has written a great conversation between two lads who would really miss each other if they were living so far apart but they’re not about to come right out and say so. Not straight away. Director Glynne Steele initially focuses on the light-hearted aspects and on making the two boys likeable and this is done really well. I like the changes of scene too. Bony Fonseca’s outwardly confident Rick and Zishan Afsar’s more diffident Sunni are both really likeable characters with a good rapport who are great to watch even when they’re talking about apparently mundane subjects. The ending is great – someone has to make a choice and it’s a tough one.

Past the Pier is a monologue, written by Sam Milnes. Tommy remembers growing up with his parents and then later, when he and his big brother Ryan went to live with their gran. It’s a story that’s full of sadness but also a lot of affection. 

There are no visual images and the words appear on the screen. This is great for hearing-impaired people but I do think maybe too much of the text appears on the screen at once. It was tempting to keep reading and I had to look away so I could listen to Tommy and not get ahead of him. But the actual writing is great. Tommy’s voice is really strong and the great thing is that director Nathan Charles allows him to be just an ordinary bloke. He’s not outlandish in any way. Actor Danyal Ismail never gets overdramatic and the emotion is saved for very specific moments in the text but there’s something about him that really makes you want to listen to his story.

Mousing is another monologue, with the words again displayed on the screen. It’s very different in style to the previous story – it opens with a bang. The narrator, played by Tim Cartwright, is making a recording… just in case. His life is in danger. There have been a number of accidents already and he knows exactly who is to blame. He’s making the recording so everyone else will know too. Tom Misuraca’s writing is sharp and incisive and completely unlike anything I’ve read (or heard) before. Directors Olivia Phipps and Laura Macmahon judge the drama perfectly, hitting exactly the right tone, and Nicola T. Chang’s sound design is great. I don’t know if she composed the background music but it’s just right.

A great start to the Digital Sharing series. Three very enjoyable and nicely-contrasted pieces. Looking forward to Part 2.

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