Sunday, February 21, 2021

DOWNSTAIRS UPSTAIRS (Orange Horse Productions)*****


By Emma


Available until: Unknown

This is so good! It’s very short but it’s also very sweet and exactly the length it needs to be. It leaves you wishing there was more but at the same time it feels like it ended in just the right place.

It’s about a mother and son. The mum is sitting in the living room when the boy comes in. He shuts the door a bit too loudly and realises his mum would have heard. They speak their thoughts aloud. They’re both worried. They’re both expecting the other one to come and find them.

That description doesn’t do justice to how brilliant Karen Richardson’s script is. It’s just really lovely the way they talk to themselves about each other and the way they can sometimes predict what the other one is thinking. They might not be that good at talking to each other but there is a connection.

Michaela Short is the mum, desperately trying to work out what’s going on inside the head of a teenage boy… not the easiest task. Elian Beaumont is her son who is actually quite sweet really even though some of the things he says makes it very obvious he’s a teenager! They’re both lovely (some people won’t like what the mum says about non-binary people but I think she’s willing to learn).

The play was filmed in lockdown with both actors doing some of their own camerawork. Elian also did the editing (which looks completely professional to me) and composed the lovely music. I like it because it’s a really simple idea but it’s really meaningful and lovely and it’s a story which can be told really naturally in the lockdown environment.

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