Wednesday, February 10, 2021

WINDOWS PART 3: BAGGAGE (Off Ya Trolley Productions)****


By Tommy


Available until: Sunday 14th February

It unfortunately isn’t possible to watch the first two monologues in this series, but perhaps there is an advantage in watching and evaluating this one on its own terms, without any comparisons or expectations based on what has gone before.

Windows explores emotions experienced in lockdown – a vast subject, considering it has been part of our lives every day for almost a year. Even when not officially locked down, there are rules that must be followed, yet also an understanding that not everybody will respect them. Returning home from any outing can be something of a relief, but, as this monologue shows so eloquently, it does not make every problem disappear.

Baggage shows a man arriving home. He spends some time downstairs before retreating upstairs to what is presumably his bedroom. There are no words to begin with, but there are many signs in Sabrina Richmond’s subtle direction that all is not well. The man has arrived home and has not removed his coat, but there are tasks to perform downstairs. It is not until he is upstairs that the coat can be removed and the necessary moment of quiet can be attained.

But a moment of quiet is more than the absence of sounds.

The bedroom has a mirror, which reflects a beautiful image of trees and grass. It is presumably a reflection of something real, yet in our perspective, it only exists in the mirror and not in the harsh reality.

Finally, the character speaks. Chris Reynolds’ script is full of thoughts running into each other; emotions ever-changing, but there is a clarity in the writing which demonstrates the unquiet mind whilst making it utterly comprehensible to the audience.

Callum Lloyd gives an excellent performance, showing many the different sides of his character’s personality; the many emotions and problems warring for supremacy in his head. His thoughts can appear disordered (as is only natural), but they are always coherent, and they are thoughts to which we can easily relate. There is a sense of fatigue in Mr Lloyd’s performance; a sense of struggle; a sense that the situation cannot continue at it is, but far too much is out of his control. Sometimes he addresses the camera (or the audience) and his voice is calm. He shows us friendliness and has the patience to give explanations, but when he looks into the mirror, at his own reflection, he does not show himself the same kindness and understanding.

There is more to the piece than this; as always, there is a need not to give too much away in the review, but Baggage is a very powerful monologue which might seem simple on the surface but has considerable depth.

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